Lake Titicaca: Amantani Island

The next stop after our visit to one of the Uros Islands was the Island of Amantani, where  we took a hike to check out the thousand year-old Temple de la Luna (Temple of the Moon), did a homestay with Amantani families and had some great meals.

Like many of the other islands on Lake Titicaca, the only way to visit Amantani is on a guided tour, and the only places to stay are in the homes of the island’s families. On Amantani, the different villages have set up rotations to evenly share the responsibility of hosting visitors.

P4110387.JPGOne of Amantani’s harbors — remember, a harbor is a place on any coastline that is somewhat protected from rough waters. Can you see that the water inside the rock wall is a lot smoother (and calmer) than the water outside of it? P4110392.JPG
My host family’s oven — the chimney was a relatively new addition to their kitchen. Before that, the room filled with smoke whenever they cooked, which does serious damage to your lungs. P4110393.JPGP4110391.JPGLunch on day 1 of tomato, cucumber, fried cheese, and, of course, potatoes, plus a vegetarian soup. The peoples of the islands on Lake Titicaca eat very little meat as it is quite costly, and, as you’ll see below, the cows are probably too skinny to give good meat.

P4120421.JPGDay two’s breakfast of fried dough (just like the fried dough that I had when I travelled to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona) and tea. Fried dough is the bomb.

P4120420.JPGOne of the island’s few cows.

P4110389.JPGP4110388.JPGP4120423.JPGA fellow member of my tour group standing next to our host’s bathroom. To flush, you had to pour a bucket of water into the toilet. P4110390.JPG

P4110398.JPGOn our hike up to the pre-Inca Templo de la Luna.P4110405.JPG
The terraces — things that look like giant stairs in the hillside — were cut out in order to allow for agriculture. Without the terraces, rainwater would run down the hillside so fast that it would carry away lots of soil and the crops being grown. The terraces are nice and flat, so they catch the rainwater. Like chinampas in Mexico, this is another way that people modify their environment for agriculture. P4110399.JPGP4110401.JPGP4110409.JPGP4110406.JPGTemplo de la Luna — once a year, the people of Amantani come up here to perform a sacred and ancient ritual. P4110413.JPGP4110412.JPGThe path leading from Templo de la Luna to Templo del Sol (Temple of the Sun) at the hill atop Amantani Island.

 

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