Week 34 - La Paz to Copacobana (Lake Titicaca)

Trip Start Aug 01, 2007
Trip End Dec 19, 2008

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Where I stayed
Majestic hotel

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

March 21st - La Paz

Said my farewells to the lads as Ivan and Chris, now fully recovered (Diarriah, cold and a hole in finger) headed off to catch the bus to north Bolivia. I think it's fair to say that if they weren't there with us on the fateful day of plunging down cliffs Krina wouldn't be with us anymore (nuff respect for their rope tying and rescue skills).

Krina still needed looking after so we all shared the 3 bed room. A lot of the day was spent with keeping Krina comfy and checking internet stuff (just generally lazing around).

Had a wander around the market area and bought a few cheap DVD's (latest cinema releases for 30p...bargain). Even though I'm kind of stuck here in La Paz I'm really liking the place. It reminds me a lot of an African town/ city; very rough round the edges, holes everywhere on the street and pavements, weird and wonderful things for sale (dried Llama foetus's being the one that stands out the most), local minibuses flying around everywhere with touts shouting prices and destinations from the windows, a dank smell everywhere and people hustling and bustling.

Another odd thing is if you need to get a haircut there is a street solely for that...need plastic bags...then head to plastic bag street.

Dinner tonight was a Chins Takeaway with Krina. Tonight Krina made the decision to fly back home to recover (good choice in reality).

Watched a film called Michael Clayton and half way through it fell into a deep, bored sleep.

March 22nd - La Paz

Today was Krina's last day in Bolivia...and maybe of travel (for a while anyway). We herded her slowly to the internet cafe to book her flight tickets. Surekha's continuing north towards Ecuador via Peru and I've still to see Peru so we decided to do the Peru leg together.

The day was taken up with the usual wandering around town. Bought a few bits for tomorrows exodus and spent all day updating my blog and photos (its been severely neglected for the last 2 weeks).

Although I really like La Paz I'm pretty excited about heading off (plus La Paz has some bad memories for me). I'm particularly excited about heading to Lake Titicaca (the highest navigable lake in the world). Bolivia seems to have some record breaking spots; highest capital, highest city, highest navigable lake and...the world’s most dangerous road.

I do feel I haven't seen as much of La Paz as I wanted to but with the situation it couldn't be helped (apparently there are some awesome clubs here). Bought a few souvenirs and Krina kindly packed them up for her return to the UK.

March 23rd - La Paz to Copacabana

At the ridiculous time of 4.30am we made our sad farewells for the brave (and damned lucky I might add) Krina and packed her off to the airport.

Checked out of the cheap but slightly Majestic hotel and headed for the haven that is Olivers Travels for a slap up breakfast (yes...black pudding and a whole pint of PG Tips) and to watch Liverpool trounce Man U (sadly the reverse happened with a Liverpool trouncing).

Around midday beers were ordered in the hope of watching the hi-light game of the day for me...the mighty Chelsea vs. Arsenal. South American TV scuppered this by showing a Boca Juniors game instead.

Had a few more bevies then a last chance to check out markets before heading off to Lake Titicaca. Caught the 3pm bus and was a tad concerned when we were the only passengers on board.

I had a brief chat with the driver and his assistant (just to confirm that I could speak Spanish and would hopefully notice any dodgy tricks). The landscape changed after a few hours with more vegetation and small lakes. Finally we arrived at Lake Titicaca's narrows. I was well concerned when the bus driver ploughed the full sized bus onto a raft/ ferry the size of a rowing boat. Miraculously the bus fitted snugly and we rocked precariously forward towards the other side.

Another 30 minutes and with excitement we arrived at Copacabana (no...I'm not back on the beaches of Rio but instead at the lakeside town that gives the impression of Southend meets an Austrian lake). The views were beautiful and the town was pleasant enough but lined up on the whole shoreline were plastic swans of the peddling power variety.

Heading towards the chosen hostel we stumbled across a very rustic and bohemian looking hotel. Checking out the rooms we discovered an absolute gem of a room with huge bay windows and a view of the lake (gorgeous). The kind manager of the hotel was a pleasant fella who has been dubbed Mr Dimples.

After settling down we both realised we were exhausted and...both had a damned cold coming on. The cold weather, altitude and stress of Death Road (more like Stress Road) had finally taken its toll on the 2 non cliff fallers.

A swift dinner and a trip to the chemist...then sleep.

March 24th - Copacabana

Due to illness the next few days were a blur of rest, rest...oh and more rest (basically doing absolutely nothing except drink liquids and watch films on the laptop). Ventured out a few times to buy essentials. Noticing a hell of a lot of tourists and backpackers (probably more than locals) shuffling around with their packs and bags. All along the side of the main road are groups of New Agers stuck here for some reason or other selling jewellery and just generally wasting time and chilling.

Want to do a day trip to the fabled Isla Del Sol (Sun Island...fabled Incan birthplace of the sun) but not till I'm feeling better.

March 25th - Copacabana

Another day of illness and just doing nothing. Luckily I bought a supply of dodgy films in La Paz to keep me and Surekha busy (season 2 Simpsons, Family Guy, Jumper, I am Legend...and loads more). Watched I am Legend (my kind of apocalyptic/ survivalist film). Went for a brief wander to a restaurant and had a proper dinner to help fight the cold.

March 26th - Copacabana

...and so, another day of illness. Surekha is still very bad but I'm improving. Went for another wander and did some internet stuff (amazing how quickly the blog gets neglected and outdated...2 weeks of blog to catch up on. I've kind of held off writing it because one of the weeks is the Krina Death Road incident...still strong bad memories there) and checked out the local market.

Had some well tasty trout for lunch (trout being a speciality here...and it is well good).

An ambitious attempt was made to visit the island and tickets were booked for tomorrow mornings boat trip at 8am (fingers crossed we won't be illin).

Tonight’s showing at the Multiplex Cinema (well...Rowley’s laptop) was Jumper (pretty decent film...and more Simpsons).

March 27th - Copacabana

Failed this morning’s attempt to catch the boat when Surekha started feeling sick, so the trip was postponed for tomorrow.

Shit, what a week. It’s one of those weeks where nothing has happened really...but I do foresee a good week ahead as the lure of Peru draws me closer.

To be honest I think me and Surekha are still shell shocked from the whole Death Road thing. These things do take a while to digest and recover from.

The plan for the next week is recover...then finally go to the island. Then it’s goodbye Bolivia and hola Peru. The first major stop there will be Arequipa where the Colca Canyon (deeper even than the Grand Canyon) awaits. The added attraction here is the possibility of seeing the graceful 3 metre big condors swooping in the sky.
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