Copacabana... Music and passion were always...

Trip Start Nov 28, 2011
Trip End Apr 09, 2013

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Where I stayed
Residential Paris
Hostal Playa Azul
What I did
Santa Cruz Festival

Flag of Bolivia  ,
Saturday, May 5, 2012

On our way from La Paz to Copacana - on the late bus we are and just acclimatisating back to the height after returning from the Amazon basin.

A little further than half way there is a little harbour where passengers have to leave the bus so they and the bus can separately be shipped to the other side. Weird though to see the bus on a swimming pontoon with two board motors. Quite an experience though, plus the beautiful lake reflecting all the stars and the full moon during the evening skies. Wow!
On the other side of the port there were people gathering and eating, and when I asked they told me that all of them were going to Copa, as we, because of the festival tomorrow. They would all dance!

We sort of hoped that we could visit the city during the fiesta de la Cruz festival, but were told we missed it. Not so! Plans changed: no isla del Sol tomorrow but festival! However, getting a room might be difficult and thus we were glad with the one we found for the first night, and got an even bigger smile receiving note from Mark that he made it there too and reserved a 4 pers. room together with another Australian girl. Having all that settled, we got to bed to get a hand full of sleep - and prepare or next day!

After sleeping looooooong (finally again!) we treated ourselves to a not-as-delicious-breakfast-as-we-thought-it-would-be while gasping at all the beautifully dressed up guests at the hostel. Everybody just seemed prepared, and decorated with the most beautiful designs and costumes.

Hop, bags packed, carried to the other hostel and off we were to watch the parade!

Up the streets we already heard the sound of the music, followed it and got right into the parade. An uncountable number of colourful, joyful and swinging groups came towards us. Marching bands and in between one and another group of singing, swinging, turning, dancing and laughing women (cholitas) and men. Especially the men are wearing those huge - and warm - costumes with masks. The Open mouth and the tong hanging out refer to the mining regions. Most of the costumes and traditions come from there, i.e. Oruro, Potosi and around La Paz. Because the miners where so exhausted from working in the mines the masks got those tongs hanging out of their mouth - their way to show it.

Watching for hours, we learned the dancing steps as quickly as we could an before we realised we were invited to join in. Girls and Senoras were posing for our cameras and glad to be on film.

However, we made a break and went up the mountain just to see the sun set from there. It is not only a viewpoint but as well a religious site where they pray to Pachamama, as we learned. And again we met a lot of people, talked to them and heard the incredible 'gracias para visitar Bolivia, nuestro pais' (thank you for visiting our country, Bolivia). When we were walking down it was already getting dark and so we walked to the hostel, grabbed some warm clothes and on the way up to the plaza, where all musicians and dancers were gone, we grabbed some street food.

Up there we were asked to join the dancing, invited to more food nd tea with rum and more dancing...! They were grabbing our hands, showing us steps and singing to us so we would learn the texts of the morenadas. Maria was dancing with Viviana, and at some part she was throwing her poncho on her.... before gong and when returning she would not accept it and said it would be 'a present form Bolivia' ... just something to remember her country. THis was another incredible example of the great friendliness and welcoming gestures of those people from this beautiful country. Speechless as we were, Maria was heading to the hostel quickly to grab some personal things from our countries to give to her. It is unbelievable, anytime, whenever people who do not have too much themselves offer you such incredible presents...

After some more dancing we returned to our hostel, the plan was to catch the boat to Isla del Sol tomorrow - preferably in the morning - and visit that culturally important island.


[Al año que viene volveré a bailar... por ti....
Al año que viene volveré a soñar... por ti...
Suenan las matracas de este pobre corazón.
Tesorito idilio... de mi amor...]

Al año que viene volveré a bailar por ti...
Al año que viene volveré soñar por ti...
Suenan las matracas de este pobre corazón.
Linda morenita idilio de mi amor. (Bis)

Regresarás morenita bella flor.
Te esperaré, tesorito de mi amor. (Bis)

Al año que viene volveré a bailar por ti...
Al año que viene volveré soñar por ti...
Suenan las matracas de este pobre corazón.
Linda morenita idilio de mi amor. (Bis)

Regresarás morenita bella flor.
Te esperaré, tesorito de mi amor. (Bis)

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