After a cold night accompanied by monstrous rain, it was morning once more. I woke up earlier than normal because of the hail but was glad to see some clearer skies on the horizon. I also caught the sunrise over the lake which was one of the most beautiful ones I have seen in a long time.
Breakfast was served around seven and was made up of Peruvian pancake and jam. Their pancakes are similar to crepe. It was a light but tasty breakfast–a blessing in disguise since the lake had choppy waters after the storm.
Soon it was time to leave our family. Ash and I presented them our gifts and they were genuinely pleased. They especially liked the bananas I added. I also handed the boys a copy of Oli Explores London and a post card of Fort Worth so they can see what my hometown looks. After the exchange and some photo ops, our father, Santorino accompanied us as we headed back down to the pier to meet up with our tour group. It was time to say goodbye.
The boat started its journey to Taquile, the final island we visited on this trip. The boat ride was only an hour but it felt a lot longer because of the state of the lake. The storms the night before, plus the high tide that morning created some pretty strong currents and made the trip choppier than normal. I was so glad to set foot on Taquile only to find out that we have to climb again. Winning the battle against seasickness didn’t exactly leave me in the best condition to hike up. Nevertheless, I toughend up and made it up to the main square some thirty minutes later. I was feeling a bit spent so I didn’t do much exploring afterwards.
After about twenty minutes, it was time to move again but thankfully, it was more of a pleasant hike rather than an arduous one. We were walking towards our lunch destination. Before the meal, we were treated to a cultural demonstration showing us how the islanders weave their infamous handicrafts and garments. They also taught us how to recognize certain groups and identify their social status within the island. For example, a guy wearing a dual-colored hat means he is single while a man wearing a single-colored cap means he is married. We were also exposed to the different plants and grains that grow within the island. One particularly interesting one is a plant that acts like bleach.
Lunch was made up of bread, quinoa soup, and either a vegetable omelet or pan seared trout. I opted for the latter. It was good, though a bit salty. My understanding was that the trout came from the lake so it was freshly caught. After lunch, it was time to hike again. I didn’t mind it this time around for a couple of reasons. First, it helped me digest the food I just ate and second, it helped settle my stomach a bit before boarding the boat again and preparing for a three-hour cruise back to Puno.
Thankfully, the lake was calmer, though there were some rough parts within the first hour. I went ahead and took medication to ensure I didn’t have a repeat of my experiences in Kauai.
After what seemed like ages, we finally arrived back in Puno. I returned to my hotel and started re-packing my luggage. I made arrangements to have an early dinner at Mojsa, one of the best reviewed restaurants in Puno, with three new friends I met on the boat.
At dinner, the guys split an order of cuy (guinea pig) and us gals got chicken with some yellow pepper sauce. Both were good. I tasted the cuy and thought it tasted like chicken. It was a bit stringy but it had a decent flavor. It was also bony. Alex, one of the guys described it as a mix of chicken and rabbit.
Tomorrow is my last day (maybe) in Peru. It’ll mostly be a travel day but I’m planning to head out to the artisan market by the pier. Still have a bit of shopping to do.