Published: June 21st 2012June 2nd 2012
After hearing bad reports about Puno we decided to cancel our hostel booking and go to Copacabana instead. Copa is on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca and the gang from Madidi said it was much nicer.
When we flew back to La Paz from Rurre we weren't feeling too good, we took a cab with Mike a Sarah to San Francisco church and there we parted as they went to their hostel and we checked intop our Hotel. They were planning on climbing the peak in La Paz (over 6,000m) in the coming days . We had booked the hotel in Rurre and we were glad we did. We were feeling under the weather due to the altitude and it was freezing cold outside. Our room had a plug in heater where we could dry our clothes which were all soaking due to the humidity in Madidi. After sorting ourselves out we went for something to eat and then headed back to hotel and straight to bed.
Dave went to reception to ask about buses to Copa and managed to book a tourist bus (safest way too get around bolivia) to pick us up at 7:30am the following
This raft took our bus across the lake. It had our bags on it so we were praying it wouldnt sink.
day. So the next day we got on the bus for about 3 hours and stopped in San Pablo where we had to get off the bus and get a ferry across Lake Titicaca to a town called San Pedro on the other side of a narrow sterectch of the lake. When we got to the other side we looked over the lake and saw our bus following us ona a big wooden raft thing! The ferry was small and cramped but we were only on it for a few minutes. We got back on the bus once it reached the other side and within an hour we were at Copacabana.
Copacabana was really beautiful. Before going to our hostel, we sat in a cafe and had some coca tea (we were now at 3,800m above sea level). The hostel was really lovely, more like a hotel, with free coca tea, sweets and bananas all day. From our room we ghad a great view of the lake. We the went to get some lunch at "Coffee house copacabana", they didnt have any coffee ....(ah bolivia...).
We had a wander around the small town and bought some alpaca wool
This was the main street that led down to the lake
clothes for the Lares trek and booked a trip for the following day to Isla del Sol and Isla la Luna (two islands on the lake). We walked up the Cerro Calvario, a 30 minute hike up a hill that had the 14 stations of the cross along it. We got to the top at about 6:15pm, just in time to see the sunset. There were great views over the lake and the town and the were loads of tourists and schoolkids (who bombed up and down the hill putting us all to shame). That evening we ate in La Cupula which had a great view over the lake. We had trout from the lake which was tasty but the restaraunt was freezing!
The following day we headed down to the lake to catch our boat to the islands, After one and a half hours we arrived at Isla de la Luna - the mythical birthplace of the forst Inca princess. There were ruins if the temple of the virgins there. This is where they learned how to spin wool and weave from elderly ladies. We walked up to the peak of the island (not very long but the
At Cemo Calvario
altitude made it feel much worse!). The views from the top were lovely, we could see the Andes in the distance, as well as the peak of Illampu. We could also see Isla del Sol. There were a few inhabitants on the island, mainly weaving wool and selling their goods to tourists. There were a few Alpaca being farmed as well. We headed back to the boat and headed for Isla del Sol - the mythical birthplace of the first Inca prince. The forst Inca prince and princess were thought to be children of the sun. Isla del Sol was beautiful. We got a bite to eat and lay on the beach for a while (it was sunny but cool) and then we started to make our way up the Inca staircase to wards some ruins on the other side of the hill. We got about half way and stopped at a viewing point where you could see Isla de la Luna and Illampu. We decided that we weren't going to make it too the ruins in time and headed back for the boat - we were too out of breath to go any further up the hill!
View from the top of Isla la Luna
You can see Illampu on the right in the background
boat dropped us back to Copacabana. That evening we went to a great pub called "Pueblo Viejo" where we had a gppd meal and some drinks. We generally just ate starters at this altitude as it curbs your apetite. While we were eating a gang of about 5 lads came in, ranging in age from about 7 to 10 years old, amd startted playing traditional pipe music and singingg, One kid had a massive drum (bigger than him) he was banging, two others had pan pipes and thwo more just "danced". The music was terrible but they were really entertaining, they were hilarious. So we gave them 10 Bolivianos for their effort.
We headed back to hostel early as we were to catch the bus to Cusco at 9 the next morning.
There are more photos below