Bonefishing Andros Island Bahama’s

9 12 2012

Miles and Miles of fishy flats, with plenty of options in every direction.   We fished all sides of the middle bite, some on the north bite, some further south, and several boats went to the west side.  All fishy.  Had a lot of fun shooting Go Pro Videos:

Andros Island Bahamas 2012 Videos

Si

just getting the ol’ go-pro tuned up eh

Views for ever

Views for ever

Nelson with a size-able mama

Nelson with a size-able mama

North Bite – woof woof, Middle Bite-woof woof

Now take me to the west side uh uh uh

The west side, uh uh uh.

this is big wood key

get up for the revival get up for the revival

Lodge and Guides:  Tranquility Hill was a nice lodge, with a very good guide staff.  I would visit again.  While the number’s of people at the lodge, was a little overwhelming, but they did a good job of taking care of everyone.  Clean, rooms and bathrooms descent, common areas were fine.  Bar drinks were on the honor system and they never ran out of any booze.  Food was good.  Hosts were very accommodating, and Raymond Mackey runs a good lodge.  To find out more about Tranquility Hill click here:  Tranquility Hill

Eh mon, duck!

Eh mon, duck!

Getting there:  The majority of our group flew to Fort Lauderdale, and then we used the outstanding services of Airflight Charter Inc.  Which offered a private direct flight from FLL to Andros Town in about an hour.  We were able to fly and fish on both our arrival and departure, which added to the fun and value of the trip.  Other options exist like flying to Nassau, and then both charters, and ferry boats depart from Nassau.   We found the charter flight with Airflight to be the most efficient, easiest, and cost effective.

To contact Air Flight Charter click here:   Airflight Charters or give them a call at this number (954) 359 –0320;  tell them Jason Phillips from Globetrotteradventures.com sent you.

Jim Bankstone lands a nice bone-fish

Jim Bankstone lands a nice bone-fish

Looking for some other species - like a permit maybe?

Looking for some other species – like a permit maybe?

We offer free arrangement of your trip to Tranquility Hill for four people or more, and hosting for seven people or more.   Contact JP here:  jp@globetrotteradventures.com or click here Globetrotteradventures.  As a host, all you have to do is show up ready to fish.  Current 2012 Pricing:    or visit:  Tranquility Hill rates here:  Rates

DOUBLE   OCCUPANCY
3 nights 2 days of fishing $2,370.00 or $1,185.00 per person
4 nights 3 days of fishing $3,330.00 or $1,665.00 per person
5 nights 4 days of fishing $4,280.00 or $2,140.00 per person
6 nights 5 days of fishing $5,230.00 or $2,615.00 per person
7 nights 6 days of fishing $6,190.00 or $3,095.00 per person
SINGLE   OCCUPANCY
3 nights 2 days of fishing $1,605.00
4 nights 3 days of fishing $2,310.00
5 nights 4 days of fishing $3,070.00
6 nights 5 days of fishing $3,780.00
7 nights 6 days of fishing $4,340.00
run, and tell your big mama, I'm looking for her.

run, and tell your big mama, I’m looking for her.

Be the bone-fish

Be the bone-fish

She's coming...

She’s coming…

The running is over, now have a time-out....

The running is over, now have a time-out….





Fishing the 2012 drought. Views by Jason Phillips

4 12 2012

12/2/2012

Finding the time to keep the blog updated through our busy season is impossible.  Here is our year in summary from June through November.

It wasn’t as tragic as we all thought it could have been.   While the continued low river flows changed everything, fish kill while still moderate, should have been a lot worse.

Watching this one eat the grass hopper was a treat!

Watching this one eat the grass hopper was a treat!

It was one of the driest springs and early summers that I can remember.  The Roaring Fork sauna, where a hint of a spark had the potential to destroy neighborhoods, and almost did on several occasions.  Like the juvenile’s lighting fireworks in Glenwood Springs, or the service truck that hit the powerline post and started a one-acre fire in Carbondale .  We all are indebted to our local fire departments, and the quick response set up by the local and county officials, who worked together across county lines smoothly.  Most impressive was the initial preventative posture directed by officials who were on stand-by every second,  and patrolled daily.  Our first significant rain, ironically came amidst fourth of July fireworks cancellations.  This storm, left three-inches in two-hours, became the norm every afternoon in the Colorado River and Roaring Fork Valley’s.   Some rains, so heavy and hard caused furious mud slides.   Having driven through one, I felt as if there were drifts of snow, rather mud, that looked like a nasty snow storm had just left.  Debris that remained mirrored post runoff conditions with new log jams everywhere.    The Shoshone power plant reported, counting at least two-thousand bellied-up-fish sweeping through, after one such event.

We hooked this one on an egg sucking leech in a slow run on the Colorado River.

We hooked this one on an egg sucking leech in a slow run on the Colorado River.

April, May, June, and July gifted us with the best dry-fly fishing in many moons.  Clear water, with low run-off values combined with early warm water temps (60 degrees plus), made for smorgasbord-blizzards of hatches.  Mother’s Day cadis was early along with four other flavors of cadis.  Stone-fly’s, Drakes, and PMD’s oh my.   During a normal more consistent run-off year, any angler can follow these hatches as they work their way up river from lower elevations.  This year, as well as last year (highest water flows in recorded history) we were able to fish the same hatches on four different river’s in the same day:  Colorado, Roaring Fork, Crystal, and Fryingpan.

Luke Phillips shows it's in the family blood with a 4 pound Brown out of Glenwood Canyon.

Luke Phillips shows it’s in the family blood with a 4 pound Brown out of Glenwood Canyon.

These early conditions were certainly not a bad thing for the fish.  Not having to fight through the heavy raging water’s of a typical mountain run-off , and having clear-water conditions during our thickest hatches.  Our fish, got up and feasted on ten Thanksgiving Day turkey’s, absolutely blowing the seams on their stomachs, and fattening their way into Jenny Craig.  Through the year, local’s agreed,  the fish in general were healthier, fatter, tenacious, and well-shouldered.

If my four year old can do it, you can too!

If my four-year old can do it, you can too!

The department of Wildlife posted signs at boat-ramps, in preparation for the onslaught of tourists over the fourth.   These warned of the potential dangers of high water temperature on fish habitat and how to avoid fish kill:  not playing a fish for ever, using single-fly rigs rather than double or triple rigs, and fishing earlier in the day, to take advantage of cooler water temperatures.

fishing with JP

This Fat Rainbow shows how healthy the fish are all the way through Fall. A Birthday Fish for Phil Bethel

The Roaring Fork Conservancy, worked together well with the Department of Wildlife and local volunteers with their, “Hot Spots” group, who volunteered to be assigned a River monitor.  They gave out thermometers and instructions, and asked volunteers to record their data on their public web-site.   Some readings were scary high on the Colorado river in late June, exceeding seventy-degrees.

fishing with JP

Let me show you how Daddy make a livin’ – On a hopper – fat Jenny Craig candidate

The Crystal River finally received national attention by its designation as one of the top-eight, most-endangered free-stone streams in the United States.  This  will definitely force more attention to this wonderful fishery.  Currently, wild-life biologists work to restore the banks of Coal Creek, that was destroyed by the Mid-Contenent mine.  This attempt seeds the ground, and then allows cattle to craze, who in-turn, churn up the dirt, making for a successful sustainable grow.   Because, everyone knows why the water turns grey on the Crystal when we get a big rain…..mine run-off.  Other sustainable river  regulations are being addressed, like the, “use it, or lose it”, grand-fathered clause, water-right given to ranchers.  This forces ranchers, regardless of conditions or needed usage to, take water off the crystal, or they will lose the right to the water.

Fly fishing with JP on the Colorado

This one ate a flash-prince about two-feet under the water. Hook jaw, and old wise fish can still be tricked if you are a master –

Fall, was beautiful and warm, yet water temperature stayed nice and cool with overnight low’s keeping the temperature healthy and consistent, bandaging the year’s drought conditions.  Fish had a more different adaptation with the lack of water in creeks, forcing our elegant brown trout to primarily spawn on the river bed’s.  It remains to be seen the number’s of trout that were successful.  I would  vote for all creeks and access points to creek,s to be closed during spring and fall spawning periods, to re-vitalize habitat.

Too, there are some changes on our horizon.  Carbondale is one of the busiest boat ramps in the state.  It has been leased and operated by the town of Carbondale, for the last three years, formerly owned by the Koziel family.  The Department of Wildlife leased it from them in ten-year increments.  Now, that the lease is still with the DOW, (6 years remain) and the Town of Carbondale owns the land, they have decided to sink several million in re-doing the ramp area.   This is a good idea, and will allow:  more space to put-in, a separate area for Kayak’s and non-commercial float trips, handicap access, and more. Thank you to the volunteers who showed up to represent the fly fishermen during the local Town of Carbondale’s steering committee meetings, and the town’s recreation department for thoroughly reviewing and listening too all the options available.

OH si JP

Yoda; “The force is strong with my Kipe, master”.

In a political time and times of change here in the Roaring Fork Valley here are some ideas I would vote yes on if given the opportunity :  limiting the number of use day’s per day at Carbondale boat ramp, limiting the number of commercial permits allowed on river’s, allowing a public easement for wade fishing along the high water mark through-out the year on all river’s,  Closing all creeks and creek mouths to fish spawn habitat in spring and fall.  Limiting the number of flies an angler can use on their line to two.  Completely eliminating any fishing contests, including the Rocky Mountain Classic Red bone, or anything that promotes catching as many fish as you can.  Background, criminal, driving checks on all guides before allowing them river-worthy.   What do you think will help establish a better fishery?  Please Comment.

To fish with Jason Phillips, The true JP, or any of his world-renown fishing buddies, who just happen to be professionals, drop me an email:  jp@globetrotteradventures.com .  Click here to be connected to the Local’s Best fly shop, voted ten years in a row:  Roaring Fork Anglers and Alpine Angling  Phone:  970.963.9245  or visit my web site:  Globetrotteradventures.com





Trickin’ Rubber Lips

9 06 2012

I’ve talked to both sides of the fence; those who hunt the carp, and those that see them all the time, and feel like they are easy yet boring to catch.

And you thought I had a Big Mouth!

Take Mr. Longhorn, from the state of Texas, who boasts that there are hundreds of grass carp, and common carp inhabiting his favorite lake, or the club’s bass pond, and promises a piece of bread and three minutes could yield a monster weighing in at over thirty-pounds.  Claiming they are more a nuisance than a sport fish, an annoyance that raises noses in the air, and quickly prompts a change of subject.

Not me, I’ve spent hours casting, hunting, changing flies, and sometimes only landing one after a hard day.   A nice change of pace from the traditional fish on the fly, carp require a perfect presentation, after sighting and a, “bone-fish”, (strip, feel, strip hard and lift to set) setting of the hook to have the pure enjoyment of these mack trucks drag you all over the water.

A college communications course theory of, “you are your environment”, has stuck with me over the years,  where carp in different watersheds, have very different mentalities.  (thank god the old college education has paid off!!, although the theory applied more to human’s than fish….)  Often underestimated are carp that have made their way into the rivers, most notably in our realm, into the Colorado River.   Weighing in anywhere from, five to twenty-pounds, and having to survive at the mercy of run-off, cold winters, and hard up anlger’s, our common carp are probably smarter then most trout.    Having been casted at, hooked, and attempted to be tricked every which way, has left our rubber lips, swimming away from the stealthiest of boats and wade fishermen.

Come on Big mama, this one weighed in at just a notch over eleven pounds.

Here are some carp techniques that have worked for me:  Time the bite, when the sun gets high and hot, carp love to sun themselves.  Easy to see, but not so easy to feed at that moment.  Sometimes, demonstrating similar feed times to trout as it relates to water temperature and available bug life.  Fly colors and patterns; orange, natural and matching the hatch has proven effective, often times taking fish under the water rather than on the surface (not always though as some have fed them stimulators and other top water nasties).  I like orange and natural colors, on a streamer hook sizes #4-#8, with dumbell eyes, that allow the hook to be upright rather than facing the bottom.   Several flies I like, like the scorpion fly, are tied with nice grass guards.     When casting for the carp, lead the fish enough so that the fly slapping the surface does not spook them.  Sometimes the action of making the cast spooks them, so limit your false casts, and get the fly in the water.  Landing a carp is more challenging than all of it, as if getting them to eat is easy, bringing them to hand is work.  I work them like a salt-water fish on the fly:  opposing the direction of their run, and hanging on, rather than horsing, with the rod tip sharply, almost tarpon like,  opposing their lips.  Even the smallest carp I’ve landed, can take up to five minutes to land, so be patient while your forearm quickly cramps.

This abundant may fly has been happily hatching on our area consistently over the last three weeks.   A pale-evening dunn, about one every five seconds depending on your location, is not an insect that our trout have been honed in on.

This Pale Evening Dunn – Heptagenia is about a #10 size.

There is currently a load and wide variety of insects hatching and timing the bite has been great fishing!  Visit:  Globetrotteradventures.com or Roaring Fork Anglers for more information.





Fun times fishing with friends

14 05 2012

Rare conditions around our watershed; with clear water, and all sorts of large bugs hatching, including now:  Four-different flavors of Caddis, Blue winged-olives, March browns, and a nice size golden stones, which are not the big females, but rather the males;  (scientific name Calineuria Californica male), amongst many other healthy nymphs growing underneath rocks,…the fishing has been outstanding.

Very early, for May conditions, which typically, is high and dirty water and often challenged to find a place to fish, not so this year, as it seems that the normal timetable has been fast forwarded almost six -weeks.  There is plenty of food underneath the water’s surface, more so then on the surface, thus, we’ve been most successful nymphing, with certain areas and groupings of fish being receptive to surface offerings.

As the cold fronts sweep through the west, providing cool overnight temperatures, the water levels drop and the clarity is quite impressive.

During our Mother’s day Caddis blizzards, many anglers, found that their fly’s were not capturing the attention of the fish amongst the thousands of other bugs being delivered right to their noses.  How can that be?  We have all experienced this:  Fish going crazy, eating, a thick thick hatch, and your offering not getting any eats.   So what to do?  Here are some techniques that work for me during the bug blizzards when there is an overabundance of food for our fish:  1.  Match the hatch  2.  drift your offering perfectly down the feeding line (where all the other bugs are, and where you see the most activity.  3.  Be patient, expect no eats initially with this technique, until you have at least hit the perfect drift line ten to twenty times, eventually you will get an eat.  This requires much more patience and commitment to your offering than many other styles of fishing.  While you see the fish going off, it is difficult to control yourself, second guessing your patterns, wondering why you are not getting near as much action as the river is dictating.   Ask yourself these questions:  1.  Do I see fish lips?  or do I see tails and backs?  It stands to reason, when there is more food underwater, in an emerging adults (bugs) sort of situation(spring), it makes better sense for these hungry trout to stage underneath and absolutely gorge, especially knowing how easily spooked fish get with out of water predators.  If you see tails and backs, it’s time for an emerger pattern, an offering perhaps six inches to three feet underwater, again, matching the hatch.  Preferably a dry-dropper set-up as a strike indicators will look out of place to the fish(especially in clear water), often times putting them down.  Still no love?  Try this:  stick with matching the hatch, but size-up!  A bigger meal amongst the thousands can do the trick.   Still didn’t work after your twenty perfect feeding-line drifts?  Then move.  Go shopping, looking for that grouping of fish rising (lips), rather than eating emergers, and stay patient and consistent in your technique.

One theory as to why the fish don’t seem to respond to your fly out of the thousands, is because I believe that when a fish eats a fly it moves enough to capture that meal, while moving, it becomes out of place of its staged feeding zone, thus missing another hundred bugs and potentially your offering.   Thus, making it all a formula of TIMING!  Can you time your delivery, single out that one fish, and know when he is ready to look for your fly out of thousands?  Believe in miracles.  If you drift it, they will eat it.

Thick Mother’s Day Caddis Blizzards

The endangered Round Tail Chub

The endangered Round Tail Chub

Tom Trowbridge great to fish with you

Tom Trowbridge great to fish with you

Great fishing Gil Finn!

This Fish and Craig, aka Grumpy, are related

Nice fish Chandler, aka, Stanky

Nolan and Rachel Mynatt my nephew, great fishing!

Bad Boys Bad Boys whatcha going do, J Boston, nice fishing with you





Buff’s

8 05 2012

5/8/2012

Leave the oily junk off of your shades and hands and face, and stay totally protected with Buff’s.   With 95% UV protection you can’t go wrong.  There are many ways to wear them, I wear mine like a mask.  I’ve been called a lot of stuff with the Buff on.  Like “Bandito”, and, “what, you don’t want to be seen with us?”  or, “hey, you’re not going to rob us are you?”

They are so comfortable, light-weight, and breathable; I am hooked for life.  They have a ton of different fishy styles, I like the bone-fish, and the rainbow trout……. it also helps you slip into your alter-fishy-ego.    Versatile too, during the caddis blizzards, it helped keep the bugs out of my ears, nose, and mouth…..although eating caddis is not only a delicious snack but a healthy on-the-go meal during fishing.    I’ve also worn the Buff in jungles of Peru, and it was a great.   Made from polyester, Buff’s have a special four-channel fiber that wicks away moisture from the skin to the outer layer and then dries faster while thermoregulating your skin.

A product originally out of Espana!  Viva!

This fish couldn’t see me because I was in my camo-Buff

To buy this wonderfully inexpensive, yet important protector from the sun, visit:  www.buffusa.com





Caddis flies a flying!

12 04 2012

4/12/2012 –

It’s run-off, and not much of one in the Roaring Fork and Colorado Watersheds.  The Aspen times, ( Article),  is reporting based on the current snow-pack, that the Roaring Fork River will peak at 2,800 cubic feet per second.  This is only twenty -five percent, of last year’s epic, “one-hundred year run-off”, and only thirty-three percent, of the sixty year median. (that’s as far back as historical data on www.usgs.gov goes)  It’s been the hot (pardon the pun) topic around the valley for several weeks now.  Looking at the real-time data, it shows run-off had started in early march!   So what to do?  It’s not over, winter that is, as many are predicting.  Some of the new to the area residents don’t remember blizzards on Mother’s Day, or heavy snow’s in April.  Today for example, as a strong pacific low front sweeps across the west, it has already brought some heavy rains, and cooler temperatures to the valley.  With it, heavy winds and a good chance for snow at higher elevations over the weekend…

There is no question that the river flows will remain low, and peak run-offs won’t be near the average, but exactly how things will continue remains to be seen.

Copi's View

As warm weather, and water temps exceed fifty degrees at  right hours of the day, the aquatic insect life is flourishing.  Several different species of Caddis are in full swing on some of the lower elevation drains.  Giant midges, March Brown’s, Large Blue winged olives, and a plethora of other food can be seen primarily after eleven in the morning depending on your location and the day’s temperature.  The fish are looking to the surface more and more, and are quickly filing their shrunken winter stomachs.  I’ve over-heard people say, “there were too many bugs coming off, and they wouldn’t eat my offering”.  A good thing for the fish, not so for the angler, but as the cliche goes, “Go big or go home”, this will usually cure your landed fish ratio.

Invisible man with Rubber Lips

GREAT SHOTS COPI, WHAT AN EYE!  See Copi’s web-site:  cbv photographics

The time to be out is now, and it could be a rare year in which we experience a clear water Caddis hatch (already happening) and clear water for some of our larger more famous hatches. Visit Globetrotteradventures.com to book a trip
or Roaring Fork Anglers.





Sucker Love!

23 03 2012

3-23-2012

Happy feeding fish on the river’s coupled with a consistent blue-winged olive hatch at mid afternoon have all the fish-eating. 

When I talked about the different species available to catch in our fisheries, one responded,”why would I ever want to catch that type of fish?”  Laughing, I explained that they all eat what is readily available to them, and with the spring hatches and other aquatic life growing under rocks, that there wasn’t as much easy, “pizza delivery”, as there is say, in the summer….fresh, delicious, hot n’ ready, to your door…..  and that is why, Flannel mouthed sucker fish will eat what other fish eat….

So, spreading the love, and kissing the sucker, is a tradition and a right of passage around these drainages, that can be used as black-mail, so this anonymous person, who guarantees he would lose friendships if anyone knew, forced a kiss:

I'm not a camera man

OK, ok, I’ve got to save my buddy if he wants to fish with me again………Here is a four pound, twenty-one inch rainbow he landed…..Nice work… 

 





Great early spring fishing!

19 03 2012

3-19-2012

Warm temperatures and empty stomachs have the fish chowing.  Location and timing making for optimal conditions.  Dry-fly opportunities are best at the sun’s lowest angles, and in areas of less direct sunlight.  It’s true, aggressive fish on a dry-fly, are the dream of many cabin fevered Rocky Mountain residents, and this spring it has become their reality–often heard laughing in disbelieve in holes down river from you.  Bug life varies from thick hatches of midges, and an occasional blue winged olive, (with variations being darker/lighter and smaller), and stone fly’s; are most prevalent during a day cycle, depending on where you are.  There is a lot of healthy aquatic life growing under rocks too.  Run-off has begun, check the clarity and flows before you go, as this will have a big effect on the fish…NOW GIT!!!

Here are some of the latest shots and video, enjoy!

great colors

Who is holding that fish?

Another Beautiful Brown….. YOU WANT TO SEE THE LIVE ACTION?  CAN YOU HANDLE IT?  CLICK HERE  

 All Smiles, just the way I like it…





Downhill Mountain Biking Bolivia: La Cumbre to Coroico.

5 01 2009

The Statistics:  Vertical descent:  11,080 feet, 3650 meters Length:  48 miles, 78 kilometers– Biggest Vertical Exposure:  4500 feet

Time of Decent: 5 Hours This Bike ride is truly great fun.  It is easy riding leading down a combination of two mountain passes, on a two track road mostly of dirt.  For a 34 kilometer section, one will be exposed constantly to deadly cliffs.  What makes it a little challenging, is constantly dodging trucks, busses and other cars that use this pass.  Weather here can be snowy and rainy especially close to the beginning of the ride.  Muddy conditions exist, and descending, one will cross several tunnels, waterfalls, and streams.  As you arrive closer to Coroico the weather becomes warm and nice.  Be cautious of Bike rentals, many shops don’t take good care of there bikes.  This includes brakes, gearing and seats.  This is great fun, but the road has claimed many lives. 

Starting point at 14,500 feet , 4850 Meters.  Definitely a cold one on this day, need some warm clothing if it snows.  Although, the snow brings it to life.  The corners are perfect for railing...have fun at the top.

Starting point at 14,500 feet , 4850 Meters. Definitely a cold one on this day, need some warm clothing if it snows. Although, the snow brings it to life. The corners are perfect for railing...have fun at the top.

 

 

We were covered in mud.  It rained hard and added other challenges on the descent, especially for these friends from England...What a hoot!

We were covered in mud. It rained hard and added other challenges on the descent, especially for these friends from England...What a hoot!

 

Definite exposure on this road...  A few have died on bike, many more have died in cars and busses.  I was happy riding around the traffic that moved very slow and cautious...

Definite exposure on this road... A few have died on bike, many more have died in cars and busses. I was happy riding around the traffic that moved very slow and cautious...The lower section, after one has descended 6000 feet, turns to dirt. From the Town of Coroico, the view of the downhill across the way. Our road, carries high and left, the main road in front is an alternate route that winds its way around the bottom mountain, it too, looks inviting. Coroico is not your stopping point. The stopping point is about 20 kilometers short of the town of Coroico and you end up in a market area...

A long ride, and great views...

A long ride, and great views...

I did this ride in July of 2001.  It is a possibility that the road may be closed to bikers and there may not be many companies offering quality mountain bikes and shuttle rides to and from.   For more information you can visit the web site at: www.globetrotteradventures.com or email me at aspenjp@yahoo.com  Keep riding!




Hiking Lake Titicaca Peru/Bolivia; including the Islands of Amantani, Taquile and Isle De Sol

22 12 2008

A surreal, dreamlike energy abounds in Lake Titicaca. It is evident that the early inhabitants were positive, happy and spiritual people. When living these feelings, it is easy to make a distinction between the positive and the negative. Although, human sacrifices were common, and an offering to their god meant death, good vibrations are all that remain. Once home to the Inca Empire, and still home to many descendants, Lake Titicaca is a powerful and empowering setting that allowed the natives to live a peaceful and separate life away from the mainland empire. Stretching more than 75 kilometers across and over 200 kilometers in length, the lake truly seems oceanic. Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable lake. There are many myths and stories about the lake, and it is certain that there is still much to be discovered.

 

Reed boats, decorated with beautiful art work, stand out on the island of Uros, which is the first stop once leaving the dock at Puno.

Reed boats, decorated with beautiful art work, stand out on the island of Uros, which is the first stop once leaving the dock at Puno.

 

The view as one leaves Puno, Peru.

The view as one leaves Puno, Peru.

 The Uros islands consist of 50 floating reed- woven masses. The islands were added to, during the Incan period, and some evidence suggests that the early people might have inhabited these floating fortresses. Of the 50 islands that exist, only 15 are open to tourism. The reed boats were the main form of transportation throughout the lake and held a capacity of up to 25 people.

Sunset on the island of Amantani, ruins of Pachatata in the foreground.

 
Sunset on the island of Amantani, ruins of Pachatata in the foreground.

The second stop to the northerly islands took two and a half hours by boat, and provided quite a welcoming sunset.  The island currently has eight communities and holds 5,000 native inhabitants.  We were lucky to stay with one of the natives and share in a very special evening full of dancing, and listening to many legends about the island.  It was here that we learned the significance of the Incan cross.  As always, the culture still leaves us in awe.
The happy natives with their welcoming smile and pleasant demeanor make Amantani island memorable.

The happy natives with their welcoming smile and pleasant demeanor make Amantani island memorable.

 

The third island on our northerly visit of Lake Titicaca is full of ruins and cultural traditions.

The third island on our northerly visit of Lake Titicaca is full of ruins and cultural traditions.

One story that everyone loves to share is of the great under water explorer, Jacques Cousteau.  In 1975, he developed a research project in Lake Titicaca in order to discover the hidden rooms of gold and silver.  The rooms, as the legend goes, were buried somewhere in the lake.  When the Spanish began their conquest of the Inca Empire, they ordered the Incas of Lake Titicaca to give them one room filled with gold and two other rooms filled with silver.  If the Incas followed their request, their lives would be spared.  To this date, the rooms have not been discovered; although, many feel it is a well-kept secret by the inhabitants.  

For Cousteau’s expedition, he ordered several underwater devices and a submarine to carry out this task.  His searching led to nothing.   No rooms of gold or silver were found, but he did welcome another discovery of the Lake.  Cousteau discovered the Underwater Toad.  Never before found any where on earth, the toad was a unique find.  It stretches nearly 60 inches in length.  The toad is an underwater giant!

At the Copa, Copacabana.  Copocabana, Bolivia, is the nearest town to the border of Peru. Copocabana, Bolivia is not to be confused with Copocabana, Brazil.  It is still good reason to celebrate, though.

At the Copa, Copacabana. Copocabana, Bolivia, is the nearest town to the border of Peru. Copocabana, Bolivia is not to be confused with Copocabana, Brazil. It is still good reason to celebrate, though.

The ride out to the southern islands on Lake Titicaca has amazing geological uplifts in the water.

The ride out to the southern islands on Lake Titicaca has amazing geological uplifts in the water.

 

The most impressive ruins on the northern portion of Isle de Sol.

The most impressive ruins on the northern portion of Isle de Sol.

 

From the southern part of the island, this is about a four hour, one way hike, at 11,000 feet.  There exists two simple pathways to follow and once arriving at either side of the island it is quite obvious which pathway goes where.  For this, one doesn’t need a map, but it will feel more comfortable asking around.  For a day hiking trip, Isle De Sol is perfect.  Great views, hot sun, two unique beach fronts, several ruins, and ample opportunity to see a great sunset await the visitor.  We highly recommend making it a day for hiking.

The Original Inca Cross, on Isle De Sol...said to be a represenation of many things, including a map...

The Original Inca Cross, on Isle De Sol...said to be a represenation of many things, including a map...

It was amongst many things a map for the native Incas.  When all the lines are connected on the outside borders of the Inca Cross, it forms a octagon.  Drawing a line through the center, and connecting the points, one finds that it can be used as a measuring device between geographic locations.  In this case, the cities of Pubulcara, Cusco, the Island of Amantani (Pachatata), Tiwanika and Potosi are all in direct alignment and are all equidistant.  Pachatata being the center point of the Inca Cross.   This point gave us very strong feelings and as one said, “I felt like I was dreaming”, while he visited this area.

The impressive mountain range of the Cordillea Real in Bolivia.

The impressive mountain range of the Cordillea Real in Bolivia.

 

The Rock of the Puma sits overlooking the Inca Cross and a table that was used for human sacrifices.

The Rock of the Puma sits overlooking the Inca Cross and a table that was used for human sacrifices.

The Puma was the keeper of this area.  Looking strait at it, one can see the upper indentations of the eye, the lower left ear that stands out, the gaping mouth with the two nostrils above it, and the tail on the far right.  We noticed while staring at the rock that the Puma became more evident as different light hit it.
The sun sets on the lake and our view from Isle de Sol is slowly darkened.

The sun sets on the lake and our view from Isle de Sol is slowly darkened.

 

Leaving Lake Titicaca you carry the strength of it with you.  Although, it isn’t a entirely physically demanding journey, it feels like an inner rest and rejuvenation.

*Feature written and photographed by Phillips, July 2001.  Information regarding Lake Titicaca, exploration and discoveries of island dwellings and other historical information was supplied by Alina Guides.

GUIDE NOTES AND DIRECTIONS:

Lake Titicaca is unique because to see all of it, it must be explored from both sides and ultimately two different countries.  Arrangements can be made easiest from Puno and Copacabana.  ALINA TOURS,  

LIMA 343.  Located in the heart of Puno

TELEFAX:  054-357139, 054-364723, CELL:  921038
EMAIL:

alinatours@punonet.com
alinatours@terra.com.pe