In addition to the modest cost of the boat, we’ll pay the family on Amantani S./25 apiece for food and lodging. It’s also recommended that we take a bit of something they may need – a big bag of sugar, flour, or the like. (Conveniently, these items and more are available at the outdoor market right by the docks.)
One of the fellows working on the boat is a diminutive man, probably in his 40’s or 50’s, with a grey hat and a green sweater. I ask him if we can take our life vests off now that we’re beyond the harbor, and he assents, much to the relief of all us passengers. Later I ask him a couple of other questions, we exchange names, and at one point when I’m chatting with him as he steers the boat, he confirms that we are three together, then invites us to stay at his house, where he has a three-bed room available. I agree.
Simon is a wiry fellow, with no fat on him, with a serious face and the careful manner that often comes with frequently having to guide a valuable boat full of human cargo to its destinations. But he also has a ready smile. He seems a good man.
We stop first at Uros. In the flatter, mid-morning light, and after we’ve been there yesterday, Uros is still nice, but not so magical. Yet that doesn’t stop me from shooting more images than I know what to do with.
For some reason we do not immediately pull up to an island. We pause fifty meters from shore. A local boat pulls up, and under the watchful eyes of an Andean gull, Simon confers with the men on that boat.
Waiting for whatever we are waiting for, we sit lazily in the sun on the boat, watching the islanders sit lazily in the sun on the island. Our fellow foreigners, who haven’t been here, are growing a bit antsy. Fortunately, we land soon, to the relief of both foreigners and islanders.
Gradually the folks collect themselves back on the boat, and we say good-bye to Uros again. As before, the reed boats and houses surrounded by bright blue lake and sky are a pleasing sight.
From Uros we will be on the boat for something like three hours, to Amantani, where we will spend the night.
[see next post for travel notes regarding the islands; and for additional pictures of Uros, from our first visit there, see the post before this one.]