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Home & Away with Robert Walshe THE more I go to the more I want to go so I was not surprised to hear that. New York City drew a recordbreaking 48.7 million visitors in 2010. The 6.8% rise was higher than projected and means the city is closer to achieving its target, set in 2007, of attracting 50 million annual visitors by 2012.

Weekend Hotspot

Lake Titicaca is the largest lake on the South American continent and the highest navigable lake in the world (about 3810 m/12,500 ft above sea level), extending from south-eastern Peru to western Bolivia. The lake is 196 km (122 mi) long with an average width of 56 km (35 mi). It is also the mythical birthplace of the Incas and home to the Uro, Aymara, and Quechua peoples. Until now, infrastructure for travellers has been serviceable at best, and at worst, detrimental to the region’s natural and cultural heritage. The lake has waves, testament to its size and not surprising the waters are cold. Puno is the main tourist hub on the Peruvian side of the lake, and here you will find a good selection of top-end and luxury Puno hotels to choose from. Leading the way and situated on its own island (Isla Esteves) just five minutes drive from central Puno, Hotel Libertador Lake Titicaca is packed with all the amenities and services that you would expect from a five star hotel and the views across the lake are some of the best available. You’ll probably spend much of your time outdoors exploring the region; when you return to the hotel you can unwind in the Libertador’s bars, Jacuzzi and pool. Rooms and bathrooms are all comfortable, large, clean, and modern. While taxis are the only way to get into town, after a long day if you’re too beat to head into town, you’re in luck because there’s an upscale international restaurant and the local fish caught in Titicaca is to die for! Guests will see breathtaking sunrises and sunsets from this leading property and from the hotels own private pier be able to set off to the nearby ancestral islands.

There are a variety of tours to the Pe r u v i a n islands on Lake Titicaca, which primarily go to the Uros Islands, Taquile Island, Amantani Island,, or a com■ Lake Titicaca Peru bination of the three. Perhaps the best option is the two-day tour to all three islands, including an overnight stay with a family on Amantani Island. The Uros Islands are constructed from the naturally floating reeds, called tortora, indigenous to that section of Lake Titicaca. The Aymara people take large chunks of the roots and bind them together using tree trunks and rope. Then they secure the floating mass to nearby reeds in more shallow water. Once the chunks of roots fuse together, they cover the whole thing with many layers of reeds, and voila... an island is made! The whole process takes about six months, and the islands last for many years. These forty or so small islands, man-made by the Aymara people for hundreds of years, cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. I used Cultural Immersion a specialist tour company. They provided quality travel services throughout Peru, including Machu Picchu. Cusco, Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca, the Peruvian Amazon, Colca Canyon, Nazca, Arequipa, Lima and other main attractions. The company also help with the development of the poor villages of the Andes working on many development projects so you know you are helping the indigenous populations by working with this Eduardo and his team. A trip to Lake Titicaca, Peru, is a once in a lifetime experience for

Pet’s Corner...

■ Uros Floati

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ng Islands

■ Libertador Lake Titicaca Hotel

many holidaymakers. Iberia flies ex Dublin via Madrid daily to Lima and LAN airlines operate an excellent domestic service to local airport Juliaca. The best websites are www. liberatdor.com www.culturalimmersion.org www.visitperu.com www.lan.com

Weekly Best Buy

Treat your valentine to a special gift with a trip to New York this February. Sunway is offering a 3 night package at the 4* Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel with prices from €639 per person. Fitzpatrick Grand Central is situated in the heart of New York with Bloomingdales, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Saks 5th Avenue, the Rockefeller Centre and of course Grand Central Station all nearby. Package includes direct flights from Dublin, 3 nights’ accommodation and taxes. Normal price is €750

Lake Titica

per person. www.sunway.i way.ie Boost your mood in the depths of gloomy January and February with a super two night break at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, right in the heart of Dublin city centre. This Beat the Blues package includes two nights accommodation, one 3 course dinner for two in Brassiere de Verres en Vers, the stylishly modern and sedately cool interpretation of a French brassiere, and the renowned Super Buffet breakfast on both mornings. Kick back and relax in Sure Bar and enjoy a soothing hot chocolate before returning to your room where invigorating bath bombs await you as well as the extra treat of a box of Butlers Irish Chocolates, to indulge in either in or out of the bath! So stop those nasty January blues right in their tracks with a two night package at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin on Golden Lane for just €175 per night based on two people sharing, or a one night package from just €100 per person sharing. www.radissonblu.ie/royalhotel-dublin

with Kathleen Murray

with Kathleen Murray: Animal Behavioural Therapist

Learning manners – always worth WHEN is the right time to start teaching a dog manners? The answer to that is… as soon as you see it doing something unmannerly. The younger the pup is the better it is. Pups need to learn to live in the human world so they need to learn very early on what is allowed and what is not. Dog manners are completely different to human manners. Dogs don’t see it as “unmannerly” when another dog comes up and eats their dinner without asking. They either allow it or attack it. There’s no big conversation or lecture about it. If you leave your dinner on the table

and turn around to get something the dog will eat it and wonder what the big fuss is all about. It won’t be looking into your big sad eyes and decide to give you some of it’s dinner later. Dogs also do not consider it unmannerly if one dog sticks their nose up the other one’s behind. This is saying hello in dog language… but not in human language. A higher level of manners is expected by some people more than others, so this is a factor to be considered when teaching manners to your dog. If mucky dogs jump on other dogs when greeting each other, or during a

game, there is no problem but if a mucky dog jumps on a human it is a horrifying experience for the dog… having to listen to all that screaming and roaring. This is very confusing for a dog so this is why the dog needs to learn human manners sooner rather than later, as it will be living with us and not running around all day with dogs. If you bring your dog to a friends house or you go to “Granny’s” for a visit then these people will soon start making excuses about not being home when you ring up, if you keep allowing your dog to jump all over their house, or steal food

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out of the bin or off the table … or go to the toilet on their sitting room floor while they are trying to enjoy a chat and a cup of tea with you. Nobody wants this unmannerly intrusion in their home. Being respectful and mannerly gets you a lot further than taking other people and property for granted. It goes a long way with your dog too but these are things that need to be taught to your dog because dogs see things differently to us… they are a different species with different rules. Help your dog to live longer and be liked by others… please teach it some manners.

Home and Away Extra QUEENSLAND Tourism Industry Council in Australia says while the floods could cost the tourism industry $100 million the perceptual damage could be even greater. Brisbane, the Gold, Sunshine and Fraser coasts, the Southern Downs, Toowoomba, Mackay, the Whitsunday’s, Townsville and tropical north Queensland are all accessible. Aer Lingus will start a daily London Gatwick to Shannon service from the end of March. The flights will leave Gatwick at 06:50 and return from Shannon to Gatwick at 09:00. One-way fares start from €24.99 including taxes and charges for travel from March to May 2011. www. aerlingus.com Robert Walshe is a freelance contributor / broadcaster and is guest travel writer for River Media newspaper titles across the island of Ireland


Home & Away Travel Jan 24th River Titles