Hard-scrabble, but not ridiculous

Lunch on Saturday was on another island, Taquila, on Lake Tititaca. This island has a Mediterranean island feel to it, down to the grilled trout they served on a patio overlooking the water.
The island is a hard-scrabble kind of place more than 2 hours by boat from Puno. The views are incredible -- this, for example, is the view from a window on one of the villagers' homes.
Because there are no pack animals on the island (why the villagers don't import some, I don't know), everything has to be hauled up on back. Villagers with sacks on their backs quietly stepped around huffing-and-puffing tourists and calmly went on their way. In the sacks? Bottled water and other things that tourists insisted on as they wolfed down the grilled trout.
The young girls on the island had an easier way of earning money. They'd stand by the road, smile for the cameras and collect a sole (about 30c) for their efforts.
The general consensus amongs the tour group was that while Taquila island is gorgeous, the four hour boat-ride to get there and back was a bit over the top. Living on a floating island is oh-so romantic, the thinking goes, but living two hours from civilization is a little ridiculous.
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