Early to the port where we boarded a small boat for about 30 passengers. Our guide for the next two days is Richard (Jesus Ricardo). The boats here go amazingly slow, too. What´s up with that? There was a young woman from England sitting in front of us on the boat, we told her how much we love England, and then spoke about movies. She said she had been to the US a few times, but only to the LA area. She didn´t like it. Asked her why, she said her aunt had moved there years ago to be an actress and now lived in Malibu. I asked her if we would recognize her aunts name, she said maybe, it was JANE SEYMOUR!
Anyway, we came to the Uros Islands, floating reed islands, and it was pretty amazing. They all work in a communal system, as far as tourists go, so different islands are visited on a rotating basis. There are several hundred families all together, I´m guessing. They speak a separate language. They make their boats out of the same reeds they make the islands, and their houses. The "ground" is a little bouncy to walk on, and most of the uros people go barefoot. The island we visited is made up of 5 families. There is a president of the island. If one family doesn´t get along with the other, the family can decide to move to another island. They don´t really move, though, there is a big saw, and they cut themselves off the island. They tie rocks for anchors so they don´t float all over the lake willy nilly. So in essence, you have many little islands in several rows. The boats have to be built once a year. You can start a new island whenever you want, and they showed us how. The reeds continually rot, so they have to keep building their islands up. If the level of the island reaches their house,which is usually about 1-2 feet higher than the island, four men hold up the house, and they add more reeds under the house, and carry on.
At 8:00, they brought in clothes for us to put on, and lucky guys only had to wear their hats they`d already bought, and a poncho. Women had to wear a special embroidered blouse, a big heavy skirt, a cummerbund, and a huge scarf over our heads that went down both sides to skirt length. I`m sure I was quite alluring on this Island of Lovers. Then, we all walked to a little community hall with a light bulb! Some people here have small solar panels what provide enough for a light bulb or to listen to a radio, which dramatically changes their lives.
Fiesta time!!! We all danced. They made us. The natives would put us into several circles and show us what to do. Then, some young local came and asked John to dance, he thinks he's still got "it". I think it may have been our hostess, but it was too dark to tell for sure. Being old and unable to enjoy much of life after 9:00, we went back to our family and went to bed. On the way back, being so dark, and no lights to speak of anywyere, we say the best view ever of the Milky Way, and also saw the Southern Star. Awesome!