This morning we had breakfast with our family then headed to the dock for the next leg of our trip. A 30 minute boat ride away was Taqulie island. It was another hour long hike uphill to the town plaza. During which I decided that the lazy girl who lives inside of me should get a vacation she enjoys sometime too:) Taquile island's population is about 2,000, with about 500 separate families, our guide alluded that the gene pool on the island is getting small and inter marriage is an issue but didn't go much further than that. We were lucky enough to arrive during the Festival de San Santiago which runs from July 25th to August 5th. During the festival each day the townspeople gather in the plaza and watch a group of musicians preform and dance a different cultural dance each day. Today's dance was "Secures" which is the name of an instrument similar to the Sampo. Around the edges of the plaza are a couple of dozen vendors selling their crafts, mostly traditional clothing.
After enjoying the music for awhile we hiked to the other side of the island and had lunch on the rooftop of a local restaurant. Needless to say the view was fantastic. Our boat had driven around to this side of the island and we climbed down 511 stone handmade stairs (a girl in our group counted). It was easier on the heart & lungs going downhill but tougher on the knees and by the time we got to the boat I was was ready to sit. After the 3 hour ride back to Puno we checked out the local "strip mall" where we spotted a restaurant which we returned to after showering at the hotel. The hot running water was very welcome!