Bolivian Bliss

Trip Start Nov 26, 2007
Trip End Nov 26, 2008

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Sunday, August 24, 2008

Expectations of arriving in Bolivia were high for two reasons, one was our overly touristy experience throughout our 3 week stay in Peru and secondly was the non stop positive comments that were told to us by fellow travellers. The border crossing was fairly painless, a stamp here, a stamp there, although the Bolivian travel itself was I suppose what we would expect from one of the least developed countries in South America, ricketty, dirty and with a slight smell of don't know what. We had to feel a little sorry for an American couple who were travelling in the same direction as us only to be confronted by the Bolivian officials who demanded them to pay $135 to enter Bolivia, neither of them being prepared for this had the girl in tears and her partner enraged. For them they didn't realise how many countries didn't have the best relationship with americans, luckily for us it was a free crossing, but you had to feel for them. Once in Bolivia the difference was striking, more haphazzard and disorganised from the off, just what we were looking for. Both Peru and Bolivia share Lake Titicaca, the second highest lake in the world (I think) and from advice we had decided to skip the Peruvian side and head for the Bolivian side accessed through the small town of Copacabana (yep the same as the one in Brasil with less beautiful beach and scantily clad women around). The town was slow paced with small stalls littering the streets, dogs lazing around the roads and not a pushy seller in sight. Everywhere you walked heals dragged in the sun as time almost seemed to be frozen. We spent a day just abling the streets and eating in restaurant back gardens. We both felt VERY relaxed.
The following day we wandered down to the beach to organise a boat to the nearby Island called Isla del Sol that sat in the massive lake Titicaca waters. Unsuprising the boat was slow but pleasant taking us two hours to reach the Island. Once there we headed off onto a loop around the island taking in some Inca ruins but mainly virtually infinite views the whole way across the lake, and at 4000m, it was tough taking us about 6hrs in total but well worth it. By the end both of us were tired and out of breath (standard proceedure here) and stopped to find a place to stay the night and because the town sat at the top of the island we were spoilt for choice, in fact we did what we normally do... look for the cheapest!!! That evening was totally amazing sitting with our feet up over one of the best views we've seen, after a long satisfying slog watching the sun set over Lake titicaca and in the most peaceful surroundings, it had already made Bolivia special, special enough for us to have a bottle of Bolivian wine with dinner!
The next day we headed back to the mainland and spent the night at a lovely hostel set in a pretty courtyard and prepared ourselves for La Paz, the highest city in the world!!!
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