Enough with the Titicaca jokes already.
Trip Start Oct 09, 2008
64Trip End Ongoing
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The bus trip took about four hours from La Paz to Copacabana; a small town on the shore of Lake Titicaca. For some reason the bus driver decided to change the plan and make everyone get off ten blocks from the center of town, which caused a couple of angry Bolivian women to yell at him. As I will later describe, the public works in Bolivia aren't particularly reliable.
Lake Titicaca is beautiful and it is big
From Copacabana it was a 90-minute boat ride out to the famous Isla del Sol, a former Inca and Tiahuanco settlement. I got suckered into a walking tour in Spanish which I actually ended up enjoying very much. I'm happy to say that after just four days my Spanish is really starting to come back. I understood much of what the guide said and in speaking my vocabulary is getting noticeably bigger. One thing I'm not doing so well at: conjugating verbs. Example: "Please to getting your llama away from me. He is seemed agigated."
The guide told us that 180 Inca and Tiahunaco ruins still exist on the island. Most of these date to the Inca period circa 15h century AD. But archaeologists have discovered evidence that people lived on the island as far back as 3000 B.C. Today the island is inhabited by approximately 800 families that subsist on farming, fishing and tourism.
The only bus back to La Paz was a "local bus", as opposed to a "tourist bus." This meant that we stopped a dozen times along the way to pick up Bolivians on the side of the road
When I got back into La Paz tonight, I heard on the news that 200km away from here, a group of farmers has started marching in the direction of the capital in support of a constitutional amendment to redistribute land and revenues from big gas fields to benefit Bolivia's indigenous majority. The Bolivian President himself has joined the march. They're expected to reach La Paz in "about a week" according to the BBC, and their numbers could reach as many as one million furious farmers! I'm not scheduled to leave here for five days, so I'm getting up early tomorrow to figure out what my options are. If this really happens the city could shut down for days. Who knew that being in close proximity to political unrest could be so exciting?
Reading: Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki