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Photographer's Note

THE PLACE
Just outside of Puno there is a group of artificial islands where the people of Uros live.

This complex is made of around 40 islands which 10 are accessible to the tourists (the rest are out of reach for cultural preservation reasons).

Everything is made out of Totora reeds. Totora grows in the lake and is used to make the islands, boats, houses, tables, food, etc...

Walking in this islands is a surreal experience that no trekker should miss. The Uros floating islands were created by and indigenous people who didn't want to live under the rule of the Incan Empire. And they were successful, and so they still live in completly peace and happiness. It is rather striking to see a people with so little (no cars, electricity, cell phones, freezers, etc...) being so happy about everything. Really makes you wonder about our advanced societies.

THE PHOTO
While most of the tourist groups stood watching an local guide explain the history of Uros I saw this mother and child playing, away from us. I came and talked to them and asked if it was okay to take some photos of her and her child. And another tourist came and started to play with the child. It was the precise moment, in which the mother and the child were extremely happy and not paying attention to me or the camera.

CURIOUS AND USEFULL FACTS ABOUT THE FLOATING ISLANDS OF UROS:

- Each island should last about 30 years. But they are constantly remade as the lower parts start to loose themselves into the lake.

- Totora is not only used to build things. It is also used in the local food. Be sure to taste some of it.

- The island isn't completely without modern technology. Among it there is a single phone, mostly used for emergencies, and a comm-unitary TV used to watch soccer games. Both of them run on photovoltaic energy.

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Additional Photos by Leandro Discaciate (Discaciate) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 38 W: 0 N: 48] (129)
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