Lake Titicaca: small boats and floating islands made of reeds

My old mate Ian Wright kindly sent me this collection of photos from Lake Titicaca. here’s what he says:

‘The traditional reed boats are presumably made on the islands, for that is what the floating islands are also made from – reeds. The wooden boats are probably made on the shore somewhere. There is quite a significant town there on the Peruvian side.

‘The boats are used as the primary means of transport on the islands – there is no way of getting to the shore other than by water.

‘I was struck by the similarity between the traditional craft and Heyerdal’s Ra and Ra II vessels, although they were considerably larger.

‘Lake Titicaca is shared between Peru and Bolivia – the border runs through the middle. As well as being the highest regularly navigated waterway in the world, it is also the deepest. At the time I was there they had not reached the bottom!’

Thanks for the shots Orv, me old mucker!

Read more about Lake Titicaca, the astonishing Uros people and their reed boats and islands here. Read about Thor Heyerdahl’s 1969 and 1970 Ra expeditions here.

I must say love Heyerdahl’s scheme to select crews of great diversity in race, nationality, religion and political viewpoint in order to demonstrate that people could cooperate and live peacefully – it’s something to remember at a time when politics everywhere seems to be more polarised, dirty and vicious than it has ever been.

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