Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #22: Happiness Is… (Enchanting Peru 2)

Ann-Christine calls for “Happiness is…” for this week’s photo challenge #22. This also is my “Enchanting Peru Part 2”.

That morning, we took a Lake Titicaca boat excursion to Taquile Island. The lake is the highest navigable body of water in the world, Lake Titicaca sits 3,800 meters (12,467 feet) above sea level.

Because of the high altitude, hiking uphill from the lake base was pretty challenging; and the hill seemed steep for ordinary hikers. But, village people not only hiked up on a daily bases but also carried heavy weight bag of their daily food/water and supplies on their back. Some do so more than a couple of times a day.

A few of us stopped at half way to the top of the island, where the local family serves coca tea and home-made lunch or dinner for tourists. The rest of our tour group including my husband continued hiking. They then hiked down here to join the lunch.

Drinking coca tea is traditionally believed to help prevent altitude sickness.

Weather couldn’t be better that day. We were facing the beautiful scenery while enjoying the delicious home-made soup/bread and fresh pan-fried fish.

After lunch, a local woman demonstrated how the village people make their own soap by rubbing the tree leaves picked from their front yard. She then showed us the result of the cleaned wool (on her right hand). It was like a magic.

It was amazing to see men knitting skillfully and women weave and spin the wool:

Our day ended with the traditional dancing and music of the village.

Back to the boat, we were happy that we made to the island of the Lake Titikaka and spent a beautiful day with the village people. We couldn’t be happier for having a chance to learn about the unique culture and traditions of Taquile in a natural site oversee the blue sky and lake. Niki (who traveled on her own) said to me, “… there are so many wonderful moments of this trip, but this is my happiest day.”

This time of the year, when so many people are busy with shopping hoping to create some happy moments for the holidays, our travel experience taught me eating a simple lunch on a picnic table in a beautiful natural site, watching knitting and weaving, enjoying stories of the culture…  can bring immense happiness.

“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect.

It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”  

~ Gerard Way

Thanks to Ann-Christine’s “Happiness is…” theme and her inspiring post. Looking forward to reading your happiness 🙂

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