Hello Bolivia: Copacabana and the Isla del Sol

We leave Puno on an early bus and the Andean scenery is just as impressive and even more rural, with locals herding llamas, sheep and pigs against the backdrop of the huge snowy mountains and Lake Titicaca.  Little did Paul know, but he’s left his really quite expensive pair of Oakley sunglasses in the hotel room.  Prat.  We arrive at the border with Bolivia.
IMG_0457.JPG (640x480 pixels)
Simple formalities and we are quickly on our way to Copacabana (not the one from the song!).  As we’re waiting in line to get our luggage from the bus we are met by our hotel host and whizzed up the hill in a minibus, saving us a 5 minute puff uphill (we’re at 3600m).  We have a nice room with a great view of Lake Titicaca, but it’s still cold at this altitude.
IMG_0469.JPG (640x480 pixels)
Copacabana is a tiny town, with most of its tourists only staying a couple of days to visit the islands in the Lake.  In fact, it’s difficult to see how you can stay much longer unless you carry wads of ready cash, since there is only one ATM and rarely does it dispense any money !  Fortunately for Paul, street vendors sell things which look like sunglasses for about two quid, so he buys some.  We spend a leisurely couple of days here seeking out warm cafes, sitting in the sun and eating trout: it’s good here as it’s farmed nearby in the lake.  The next morning after breakfast we talk to our host, expecting to visit the Isla del Sol, but we are really confused when he says it’s too late to go today – apparently we should have adjusted the time on our watches two days ago when we entered Bolivia, and we’ve missed the boat !  Anyway, in the interests of keeping warm we went for a long scenic walk along the peninsula through the eucalyptus forests and alongside the lakeshore and floating islands.
Next day we wake up at the right time for our trip and the boat drops us at the north of the Isla del Sol for a beautiful ridge walk about three hours to the south.  The highest point was 4000m and somewhat hard work on the undulating sections.  Here’s Paul with some beach pigs and a donkey.
IMG_0523.JPG (640x480 pixels)
It’s a stupendously beautiful lake, the highest navigable lake in the world.
IMG_0531.JPG (640x480 pixels)
People like to pile rocks here, for some reason.  We are lucky to have such great views of the snowy mountains.
IMG_0543.JPG (640x480 pixels)
IMG_0545.JPG (640x480 pixels)
Back in Copacabana, Paul is in his two quid glasses, and having a beer in the sun to celebrate a grand day out!
IMG_0552.JPG (640x480 pixels)
Tomorrow we’re off to La Paz, the big city and governmental capital of Bolivia.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>