A Stone's Throw

practice your aim. you never know when you'll spy 2 birds at once.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Floating Islands of the Uros

Between Peru & Bolivia...

The boat listed as it glided through the green surface of Lilliputian lilli-pads towards the deeper blue waters in the distance. Sitting in the boat looking out over the waters, knowing what lay in the distance, a sense of magic fills you. The land of green that ripples gently beneath the boat makes you feel as if you could walk on water. And in fact, that is what you have come to see.

Soon the waters change, become more clear and take on a hue that is unseen anywhere else in the world because you are so high in the sky, so close to the atmosphere, some 2.5 miles above sea-level. But just as you watch the green fade away, you see a new sight on the horizon, a sight legendary the world over.

The first thing I noticed was a stork 20 feet high walking in the reeds. This understandably secured my attention. Then as the boat closed the distance, I saw the rest, conical homes, dozens of them all built on absolutely massive piles of reeds, all drifting in the wind. The gap ended and the boat nudged up against the reeds, and I stepped out. As my foot sank a foot towards the water beneath me, a Lake nearly 1,000 feet deep at points, I realized the enormity of the task to create such a place. And create they had - for not only huts resided there, but schools, towers, giant afformentioned birds, various dragon-headed boats. All made of the same reeds.

It was truly like stepping out of the past, and in a way I felt like an invader. Sure, the Uros, the people who had inhabited the islands since time forgotten, sold woven trinkets and crafts to visitors, it still felt uncalled for. Yet, when you are living on a floating island of reeds, you are bound to garner some notice. I explored, smiled with some of the children on the island who were just as curious about the pale blue-eyed man from strange places, saw the small reed houses they had built for the ducks, checked out the weird vegitation they dried in the sun for consumption later. Imagine the days of Social Studies and falling asleep and waking up inside the book, alive and real. That was that day.

Mystical is a word that only begins to describe the wonders of the Uros...


  • At 8:32 PM , Anonymous Jamie said...

    Now that... I could do. How fascinating! I hope your experience was enlightening and I can not wait to see the pics you bring back from this adventure. Miss you

  • At 6:21 PM , Anonymous nicole said...

    Marry me and take me around the world!! I'll make all the money; I'm gonna be a plastic surgeon! Please?!

  • At 8:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Your are Nice. And so is your site! Maybe you need some more pictures. Will return in the near future.


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