After another 3 hours in the boat we arrived at Amantani Island, one of the largest on lake Titikaka. Apparently the locals live in 4 communities and the home stays rotate through these communities to make things fair for them. These communities are in varying degrees of advancement and we were told that our were on of the more advanced. Ayway, there were a group of locals waiting for us and our group leader, Miguel, allocated us to our own family.
The 4 of us and Alexander were taken off by a man (sorry, his name was too complicated for me!) to their house about a 10 minute walk up the hill. The house was very basic on our standards with a small open courtyard with a toilet (manual flush by way of bucket!) and a kitchen and a room or two for them. Up a flight of concrete steps were two rooms for us and another of their bedrooms. Our rooms were spotlessly clean with twin beds in each. There was a single light in each powered by a solar charged battery. We settled in for a few minutes and were then invited down for lunch with the family. We sat at the table with Alexander and the father while the mother, Francisca, arranged the food with her daughters. They had 3 daughters aged 20, 14 and a very cute 4 year old called Yasmin.
Lunch was a tasty but simple meal. Soup first with a fiery salsa to stir in if you wished followed by a plate containing 2 types of potato and some vegetables. They were very friendly and welcoming and we held conversations though our smattering of Spanish, through hand gestures and with alexanders help.
It was then time to meet in the village square to go for a walk up the hill on the island, Tatapapa, to see the sunset. I found the walk very tough having a bad cough from the dry air and then the general lack of air. We started at 3820m and finished at around 4200m and there was a string of locals selling drinks and wares all the way up. The view at the top was great and we could see across the lake to the Bolivian side.
When we got down we had a beer at the bar in the main square and then went back to our house for dinner. Dinner was soup (a different soup) followed by rice and a diced vegetable stir fry type dish. By this stage Tilly and Yasmin were playing amid hoots of laughter and jane and Francisca were best friends, talking knitting patterns. Jane learned how to knit with 5 needles at once with the wool going over her shoulders - quite impressive!
The evenings entertainment was a Fiesta at the village hall. It was all a bit too touristy as we had to dress up in low costumes to get in which consisted of a poncho and knitted hat for Joe and I and a skirt, blouse, corset and head scarf for the girls. Not the comfiest but it was fun. We did have to smile when they said that if we came back before the fiesta ended at midnight that there would be no toilet light as they were taking the battery up to use at the party. Imagine anything like that happening back home!
The Fiesta was fun and there was a live local band (including panpipes), lots of dancing and drinking beers.