Down at the Copacabana

Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
Trip End Apr 29, 2007

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Sunday, February 25, 2007

I absolutely love this country, most interesting place we´ve been to since Sumatera.

Took an early minibus to a small town by Lake Titicaca, called Copacabana (the brasillian one is named after here.) There was little leg room, but I had a chance to practice my Spanish with a local lass called Veronica. At one point we hopped off the bus and took a boat across the lake, as the boats carrying the buses were´t really up to it! Window gazing was a real treat - up in the mountains at over 3,500 metres, but on the altiplano (high plateau) which was really flat and quite desolate. Mudbrick houses, straw roofs and many animals.

Then we got our first glimpse of the highest big lake in the world - pretty. Got of the bus and went to first hostel we found (about 10 metre walk!) Hostal Colonial del Lago, we had a large en-suite room with TV for 2 quid a pop, with awesome views (but up lots of steps!)

As enticing as the beds looked I managed to get Rat to come outside, this was mostly cos he wanted to find a pub showing football. We failed, but we did find many markets, a cathederal and loads of partying locals! Costumes, fireworks, booze and dancing, but no Gringos - all of us seemed to be behind a wall, secretly taking photos!

The cathederal was splendid inside, but we failed to find the Virgin thing which this town is mostly famous for. We did however have a three course meal for 75p, so all was not lost! In the evening Rat had the local delicacy of trout, but he didnt enjoy it.

And then we climbed a hill for some nice views, it was more exhausting that it should have been (blame the altitude) At the top were lots of religious symbols and pictures and a family who wanted photos of us.

Next day we were up bright and early for a trip to the Isla Del Sol (Island of the Sun) The birthplace of the sun, moon and Inca civilisation. After a slow 2.5 hour boat journey we reached the northernmost settlement, not exactly a metropolis, but it did have a small museum, a cold burger stall, mud huts, pigs and many donkeys. Museum wasnt as good as the Coca museum we visited in La Paz, but was OKish. Coca leaves are supposed to stop you feeling the effects of altitude and are legal over here, we tried them, but no real benefits achieved.

Then we walked about 10km to the south of the island via some Inca ruins. It was a really enjoyable day, so tranquil and beautiful. Not only was there the scenery of snowy mountains and lakes, but also the sights of village life - Quechas herding manky looking sheep, bands playing and children playing.

3,600 metres high meant that the hills were slightly tough going, and we didnt pay enough attention to warnings about sun protection, but that didn´t ruin our day in this magnificent place. Sad to leave Bolivia, but it has to be done...
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