Posted by Vi Warkentin on
Peru - Took the scenic path up to Taquile’s main plaza - let’s be honest, mainly because it was easier than hiking the 530+ steps up to the island’s main square!
Look who shows up posing for that photo. So adorable so, of course, I take the photo!We continued to climb in elevation walking past small farming areas. A couple of the locals passed us along the path.OK, I took a photo of this intending to ask our guide what it was (but I forgot). So, any ideas?? What ever it is, it seemed like the locals collected it and didn’t want the animals to get into it. But what is it?One of the youngsters along the path - very serious indeed!And the quiet and smiling gentleman who met us near the main square.Climbing higher, I took a quick look back to where we started from on our hike. And another sniff of that muna magic herb in my hand!We eventually made it to the square and climbed to the roof-top of one of the buildings facing the plaza.
This cooperative market is filled with all kinds of crafts, weavings made by the women of the island and knitted items made by the men of the island (more on that later). But I think we were getting hungry and not in a shopping mood at this point. I was quite convinced that this was where we’d be having our lunch with the activity that was happening at this outdoor space below. The straightening of chairs, the placement of tablecloths - what an amazing view for a lunch, I thought. But……….in a few minutes we’d continue on our hike further around the island’s edge, high above the Lake Titicaca to another fabulous spot for our lunch!
The men on the island wear knitted caps (ch’ullus) that I’m told they knit themselves using the wool from sheep - the only animal raised exclusively on the island that is wool-producing. White indicates the man is single and all red means they are married. When single, the hat can be worn three different ways and the way in which it is worn indicates the man’s single status - if I recall correctly from our guide’s explanation of the caps - folded to the right means they have a girlfriend, if folded to the back, they’re living with someone and folded to the left - they are free and available. While each man knits his own hat, the quality of the knit is said to also be an indication to the interested female of supposed worthiness! Talk about knitting pressure. In the case of the women of the island, they simply change the colour of their pom-poms to indicate their marital status - again, if I recall correctly, red meant married and multi-coloured pom-poms meant single.
Some people update their status on Facebook, others just flip their hat or swap out pom-poms. Brilliant! Almost more chocolate bar selection here than at your local convenience store!
A colourful bird spotted on the roof below us from our vantage point overlooking Taquile’s main plaza.
Overlooking Taquile’s main square. Women from the island cross the plaza - the same plaza that on Sunday’s is the location where the entire island meets up after Mass to conduct the community business of the island. No need for police here. Annually elected leaders hold this weekly meeting and any issues concerning the island’s people are dealt with here.
Another view of Lake Titicaca as we continue our hike.
Day 10 - Friendly Planet - Amazing Peru Tour