The road today kept climbing, with still debris in places. Although the strike ended two days ago, no-one seems to be in a hurry/nor responsible for cleaning up the mess. In places that are cleared, it's not cleared very far. Just to the edge of the road, thank you. Charred stumps, steel rails, piles of rocks. Yea, we remember those. Burned/melted spots in the asphalt where the tires and stumps were a-lit; shame good roads have been defiled. But maybe the message got through. Who are we to say. Can you imagine carrying this out in your hometown? How strongly you'd have to feel?
Shortly after arriving in Puno, which fills the hills around a sheltered portion of the incredibly blue Lake Titicaca, we took a small launch out to the islands. The islands float in fifteen-foot-deep water, are about 200 feet square-ish, and are comprised of about three feet of soil & buoyant root-mass, topped with about six inches of laid-down reed. The surface is soft and undulating, kinda like walking on a straw-covered water bed. The first step or two you're not sure of falling thru. The Uros people live here, about two thousand of them, on about 200 floating islands, some tethered together and some anchored alone. They make reed boats to get around on, have been blessed (?) with modern religion, send their children to school (another floating island), and have joys/worries just like you and I.
They add to the island as families/clans grow, and split the island when things get too populated/disagreeable. They live in simple reed houses (about 10' x 20'), do their cooking carefully, and find the time to make exquisite craftery. We bought a few miniature boats, a wind chime thingy that doesn't really chime but has spirits that do, some wonderful beaded bracelets, and two incredibly beautiful/intricate hand-sewn/laid out embroideries. Impressive people in an impressive place leading impressive lives. OK for us.
We left the island at dark, and the ride back to the mainland was filled with stars above and the lights of the city ahead. The ride was quiet as we soaked it all in, and if we look a little strange/don't talk much when we get back you'll know we're still here. Santiago y Elena