Into Incaland!

Trip Start Jun 13, 2011
Trip End Jun 12, 2012

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Where I stayed
Las Olas del Sol

Flag of Bolivia  ,
Sunday, July 31, 2011

The flight delay in Rurre meant we had to spend an extra night in La Paz before continuing on to Isla del Sol. We were lucky enough to get beds at the Adventure Brew hostel, probably the best one we’d stayed at in the city. Although it would’ve been good to have got straight to our next destination, the bonus was that we got to sample the fantastic Indian restaurant (The Star of India) that everyone had told us about but we’d been too unwell to visit last time we’d stayed! 
We got picked up at 8am the next morning (after a free pancake breakfast) by a surprisingly nice bus (we were expecting the usual rickety death trap) for the 4 hour (25bol) journey. We had to get out and onto a boat to cross the lake (while the bus travelled separately!), then back on for the remainder of our journey to Copacabana. We stopped right outside a hostel (Las Islas del Sol), which was nothing special but was cheap and convenient and meant we could get rid of our bags straight away!
We sorted out all our arrangements (bus/boat etc) with Kontiki Travel, who were extremely helpful and just across from the hostel, then headed off to explore the town! Although it’s Bolivia’s most important religious sight, it’s incredibly touristy - but in a nice way! Outside the gorgeous Cathedral there are countless stalls selling the most colourful tat I’ve ever seen! The climb up Cero Calvaro, the hill overlooking the town, was much more peaceful but pretty hard work at such a high altitude! Afterwards, we had just about enough energy to have a quick dinner before catching an early night to prepare ourselves for the next day!
The 8.30 am boat (slowly!) made the 2 hour (20bol return) journey across Lago Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake! We got dropped of at the northern port of Isla del Sol, where we began the challenging 4 hour hike across the island. We had a glorious sunny day for it, and although we had to push ourselves to make it up the numerous steep climbs, it was totally worth it! The Inca ruins were a bit of a disappointment (it looked like the locals had just piled up any available rocks!), but the scenery more than made up for it and we were constantly rewarded with awe-inspiring views! We were starting to flag near the end (and you can’t just sit and take a breather otherwise you’ll miss the boat back and end up stranded!), but we bumped into a couple of guys (Niko and Max) who we’d met on the bus there, and their great chat and hilarious banter made the final stretch much more bearable!
They joined us on the return journey (again so slow we’d have been quicker swimming), then we had just enough time to grab a quick bite (pancakes and fantastic coffee) at Café Copacabana before catching the 6.30pm bus to Peru! We’d heard a lot of horror stories about the journey (11hour, 150bol) and the border crossing, so were prepared for the worst, but the 1st bus was good and the crossing was quick and easy! It wasn’t until we got to Puno (where the buses are actually supposed to be better) that we had any problems. The driver seemed to think he was taking part in Wacky Races, speeding ridiculously and narrowly missing every piece of oncoming traffic, plus it was absolutely freezing, but we arrived in Cusco in one piece (albeit cold and tired!) at 4am - not surprisingly an hour early!
So on to our 4th country out of 5 in South America - and things just keep getting  better and better - long may it continue!
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