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The floating islands of Lake Titicaca, Peru

04 Peru 1995 121 Lake Titicaca, Uros Islands

I don’t anywhere people live on floating islands except for the Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca, a large lake straddling Peru and Bolivia (the Peruvians like to say they got the “titi” part, while the Bolivians got the “caca”).   It’s the most voluminous lake in South America and is considered the highest navigable — by a large ship — lake in the world, having a surface elevation of 3,812 m or 12,507 ft.  

The Uros natives of the lake are a pre-Incan people who live on forty-two floating islands.  They had a unique language (which has been lost for centuries) and obviously a unique way of living.  They historically moved to the floating islands for defensive purposes.  Some of the islands …

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“Pic of the Week”. July 12, 2013. Scarlet Macaw, Peruvian Amazon

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One of the thrills of traveling to the Amazon rain-forest is to see its large colorful flocks of birds.  The most spectacular of these are scarlet macaws which are actually not just scarlet but a combination of red, yellow and blue.  To watch them in flight is to see color become fluid and take life.

My brother and I visited the Peruvian Amazon after hiking the Inca Trail.  We spent a few nights at the Tambopata Lodge situated in a National Reserve, a long boat trip upriver from the airport at Puerto Maldonado.  The lodge is in the heart of a beautiful rain-forest and offers the advantage of cool evening breezes from the barely visible Andes to the west which provide …

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“Pic of the Week”. January 11, 2013. Alpaca herd, near Sullustani National Monument, Peru

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This photo was taken on the high altitude plateau (Altiplano) of Peru located over 13,000 ft (4,000 m) above sea level, not far from Lake Titicaca.  Given the high altitude, agriculture is limited, mostly potatoes and livestock (sheep, llamas, alpacas).  My brother and I were en-route from Puno to the Sullustani National Monument when we encountered this herd of alpacas.  We decided to stop for a photo and cautiously approached the herd.

These alpacas were very curious but leery of us.  The large white woolly alpaca in the left foreground of the photo was the alpha male and was of bad temperament.   He charged at us twice wanting to spit on us (which usually involves regurgitated stomach contents, a type …

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