It has been a bit of a job acclimating to the rarefied air here on Lake Titicaca. I feel better now and have able to go out and have already had a flurry of interesting adventures which I will gladly share over the next several posts. As I ventured into the near deserted village yesterday morning, I spied this young man tending several llamas. He avoided me and with a small whip began herding his animals further into a field. I walked on and I saw several people glance at me and then basically look away. They seemed guarded or uninterested in another camera-toting tourist. I took some landscape shots and pictures of the lake, but I realized that to show you the people would take a special effort.
These highland people have established themselves in a totally hostile environment. Imagine what it takes to flourish at 14,000 feet. It is cold, wet, and the terrain is really steep on which to grow crops or raise animals. I finally figured out what I needed to do to talk with the people and had some great success later in the day. On my return to the hotel, I came across the same fellow. This time he was packing a baby llama and was quite proud. I am sure I will see many more, even thousands of llamas, because they are as stable food source in the region. Ironically, the hotel served llama for dinner last night, feeling inundated in shame, I sampled. I'm sure hoping it wasn't this little fella.