Saturday, March 6, 2010

Puno and our Taquile family at last!

Beautiful bus ride from Arequipa to Puno. It starts in the dry barren desert and moves high over mountain passes into a wetter zone. We saw cameloids: domestic herds of Alpaca being raised for their wool and wild vicuña-- a delicate, lithe, cinnamon colored animal--exquisite. We saw flamingos in shallow high mountain lakes.

Then at last we arrived in the bus station in Puno to find our family waiting: Silvano and Ruperta are our hijos (children) by virtue of our specific participation in their wedding; Jorge-Ivan (age 10) and Hugo-Clever (are 5) are therefore our grandchildren. How about that!

Saturday is market day in Puno, so we spent the rest of the afternoon buying staples: fresh vegetables and fruits, plus quinoa, oil, etc., and propane for cooking. We'll use their solar cookers when we can, but it is the rainy season and fuel of wood and dung are scarce. We bought enough to share with the extended families. We will all eat well together.

Tourism is very low this year, and this has been their main source of income so finances are tight. They can grow only about half the food they need. In the evening we all went out for chicken dinner, a tradition with us and a treat.

Tomorrow we will go to Taquile to be with the rest of the family and I'll be out of computer connection for a couple of weeks. Perhaps after that I'll be able to post some pictures.

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