My Island in the Sun

Trip Start Oct 01, 2006
Trip End Dec 17, 2006

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lake Titicaca surpassed all other localities of my trip so far. Why, you might ask? Because it's bloody brilliant. Never before have I seen a place so amazing that there is an actual fear of leaving lest I never lay eyes on such magnificence again. The crisp air and 4000m altitude compounded with the sight of blue skies and crystal water will suck the breath out of even the most hardened unreceptive visitor. I do, however, think the title of 'lake' is faintly inadequate. The body of water is 230km long and 93km wide, which to my mind deserves and upgrade of some sort.

Copacabana (yes, another one) is the town just over the Bolivian border where people are friendly and hospitality is cheap. It offers beautiful views and the opportunity to catch a boat to the Islas del Sol, or the Sun Islands on the lake, that are home to 2500 residents.

During the early morning boat trip to the island I happened across two fellow Europeans who had the idea of a brisk stroll across land mass. One was German, the other was Austrian, and both had far longer legs than I. The boat crossing took about an hour and a half which gave them sufficient time to persuade me a gentle amble would be charming. After all the chat and banter I jumped at the chance to join them, though later on it seemed I should have conserved the energy...

I fast discovered efficiency was the name of the game and hurried to keep up as Christian and Gregor hiked effortlessly, all the while discussing their plans to climb Misti, the 5000km volcano, within the next few days.

To return to Copacabana it was necessary to catch a boat back to the mainland. Since we had 'made jolly good time' across Islas del Sol arriving hours before the scheduled pick up we found a friendly local resident with his own boat and bartered for a ride back to Yampupati where the next leg of our hike could begin. For a small fee my new friends and I had our own chartered vessel where we enjoyed the trip stretched out on deck in the sunshine. A further four hours of furious hiking followed stopping only for the occasional snapshot or odd Dorito. We were back to base before sundown with unremitting smiles and a satisfied burn the legs. The dinner and drinks that followed were well earned and the company was enchanting. All of this made what was has been the highlight of my adventure so far.
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