Finally LAKE TITICACA! I dreamed about it since I was little. I had a teacher who liked to mention the name of this lake because it triggered each time laughter. In this memory that I dragged since the age of 7-8, it is grafted images of distant peoples, whose way of life, seams, costumes reflect their traditional culture.
I so imagined to live a unique experience, I so sublimated this place that inevitably I fell high and even very high! I will explain further …
This is how our first day of the Titicaca Lake Tour took place, visiting the floating islands of Uros and Amantani Island. Amantani Island where we spent a homestay night.
Departure for the floating islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca
Departure by boat with tour guide for the UROS floating islands of Lake Titicaca.
There is a great atmosphere in the boat: Everyone is very excited, a guitar player and pan flute playing the Peruvian standards and the landscape begins to change as we advance on Lake Titicaca .
When we approach the islands (3 810 m), we see that the Uros are already there on the banks, ready, aligned, well organized to welcome these visitors full of money …
Visit of the floating islands of Uros
Just arrived, we are engaged in a “forced” course:
- Demonstration of the cultivation and use of totoras (reeds used to make their islands);
- Visit of a dwelling;
- Songs of the Uros;
- Crossing in pirogue …
Everything is planned and we must follow the group! I read on blogs that it is a little DISNEYLAND and I confirm. I did not appreciate the way to ask for money to cross 10 meters or to plant half an hour in front of 3 stalls of handicrafts at exorbitant prices …
But you can not go to Peru without going on Lake Titicaca. I say to myself, it does not matter, we will surely find a little more authenticity on the island of Amantani …
Visit of Amantani Island on Lake Titicaca
Program to visit Amantani Island on Lake Titicaca
Our program mentioned an arrival at Amantani Island around 12h to have lunch with the family who welcomed us and departure at 16:00 for the ascent of Mount Pachatata to be at the top for the sunset. Then back in the family to share dinner with them and go in the heart of the island to party and dance with the whole village. Everything seemed perfect!
When you arrive on the island, a dozen women in traditional costumes are waiting for you. Each one takes a couple or a group and goes to his house. We follow a lady in her fifties who did not deign to talk to us, much less to smile at us.
Stay in a homestay on Amantani Island on Lake Titicaca
Arriving in the house at 14:30, the lady leaves us to manage without telling us a word. His girl, a little more talkative teenager, shows us our room that we will share with four. We see the time passing and no sign of a meal … We offer our help for the preparation which will be refused categorically.
At 15:30, we are put in a room without light to take a very thin meal for 4. We eat without family and find it very strange.
Ascension of Pachatata on Amantani Island
16h00 – Ascension PACHATATA at 4 100 m to enjoy the sunset: WAOUH! It’s just beautiful.
We descend into the night which is dangerous because of unevenness and stony ground in the dark. I tell myself that I should have had a lamp … Shrunk, I have only one desire: to eat with our host family and to sleep at last.
Returning from Pachatata on Amantani Island
That’s it, we’ll be able to rest, what a pleasure to find this little room!
What? but no, it’s not possible … We can not believe it! We discover that our bags have been opened and that some things are missing. I am stunned, sad and angry. We find that stolen objects are worthless. They even took from us what we had purposely bought for them as gifts (biscuits, oil, rice). Farewell our shampoo, elastics, perfume, soap.
I understand that they need everything and that they have nothing on this island but I can not admit such behavior. I, who was so enthusiastic about the idea of staying with the inhabitant to be able to discuss their way of life, to live a different human experience, I take a stab in the back.
We will see our host for an explanation. She denies and does not respond to our discontent. We decide not to dine with them. Difficult decision to make after the frugal lunch and the hike that had opened our appetite.
In the early morning, the head of the family came to apologize saying that it is his daughter who is guilty and that she wrote us a note to forgive her. He hands us a pocket with the leftover biscuits, stolen peanuts … and the word below. That’s it, it’s said!
Bad experience at the inhabitant on the island of Amantani
Why did I decide to tell you about this bad experience?
Simply because we have to denounce these behaviors. It must be said that this is happening again and again with other tourists. But especially because, for me, the most rewarding in a trip is the human exchanges more than monuments or landscapes! However, this lack of respect, sharing, communication has ruined precious moments spent on Amantani island and this incident will inevitably pollute my memory of this island.
The next day, we meet other French having stayed at the inhabitant for which everything had gone very well. I console myself by saying that we were the exception that confirms the rule … and that we should not generalize.
Discover now the continuation of our excursion on the lake TITICACA: Day 9 Lake Titicaca: Taquile