Lake Titicaca

Trip Start Apr 27, 2010
Trip End Apr 25, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hosteria Las Islas

Flag of Bolivia  , La Paz,
Saturday, July 31, 2010

We arrived on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the largest lake above 2000m, at Copacabana. I don't think the song was written about this Copacabana because it wasn't anything special. On organising the bus to Lima for a few days time we realised that we had again miscalculated how much money we would need (There are no ATMs) and so had to change our plans and make the stay here a little more compact.
On the boat trip over to Isla del Sol we were wondering why people made such a fuss about the place because it didn't look anything special. However, once we had climbed to the top of the Inca Staircase and looked over the lake, we were able to appreciate how beautiful the place was from a high vantage point. Isla del Sol is the Incan birthplace of the sun and the whole island still maintains the Incan agricultural terraces. The plan was to walk from the south side of the island to the north, stay the night and return the next morning to catch the boat back. It was a 3 hour walk and since we had caught the afternoon boat we were going to be setting off at 4pm. Getting to the top of the Inca Stairway we also realised that we wouldn't be able to lug our full packs that whole way (we were at 3800m so altitude was definitely having an effect) so quickly checked into a hostel with an awesome view and decided to go there and back - knowing that the return would be mostly in the dark.
Without our packs we made great time and the views from the top of the ridge (almost 4000m) as we traversed the island were impressive and much more appreciated. It was quite mind boggling to think it was a lake and not an ocean as it was so vast. We finally reached the northern end of the island just before sunset after checking out some Incan ruins but being unable to decide which was the rock that the sun was supposedly born from. The sunset was quite spectacular and the contrasting orange of the sky, silver of the water and black shilloute of the surrounding islands produced the 'wow' factor. We started back in the partial light of dusk and before long had to bring out the headlight. The walk back was much slower as we fatigued and stumbled in the torch light. Although we ended up taking a different route back, we made it just before 9pm but were completely exhausted and crashed out without dinner.
After a relaxing morning we caught the boat back and had lunch in Copacabana - the trout from the lake is really good - before hopping on the bus and leaving Bolivia behind us.

Bolivia was a spectacular country - the contrasting scenery has to be seen to be believed, its cheap and the people are friendly. If it had a nice beach I don't think we'd have much reason to leave, well and perhaps a bit less altitude would be nice too!

Ten Things About Bolivia:
1. Sometimes its like being on a different planet - particularly the geysers on the Salt Flats.
2. Everything comes in a bag and I mean everything - eggs, juice, cooked meals, live chickens
3. They do fried chicken better than KFC
4. There was not one Western fast food chain
5. There is a marching band everywhere
6. They love to protest - but no one pays attention because it's just another protest
7. The altitude makes you feel like an unfit, overweight smoker.
8. Why doesn't Bolivia have a Rally Car World Champion?
9. Suprisingly they have very well manicured public spaces.
10. Each street is dedicated to selling one thing - each shop is always the same. 
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riccardo.divita on

i remember juice in a bag. i used to get a lot of blow outs.

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