Published: June 20th 2012June 7th 2012
Well if you had been dropped there thats what you may think
After three and a half amazing weeks, Peru has certainly earned itself a 'top destination star' in our book but all good things must come to an end and it was time to move onto to Boliva and see if we can love that place as much!
First stop Copacabana on the edge of Lake Titicaca only 8kms from the border.
The bus journey from Cusco wasn't bad on Huayrur Tours and we'd only paid 70 Solis (£17) for the comfiest seats we've had to date... Full Cama... 160 degrees reclining... But it was freezing and no Cruz Del Sur blankets, pillows, DVDs, snacks or hostess to be seen..... Just some grumpy man who insisted the heating was working..... Well Jon was cold that's how chilly it was, I'm surprised the windows weren't frozen!
We pulled into Puno, the stop before ours at around 4am and they let us sleep on the bus until 6am before they turfed us out into the cold of the bus station for 90 mins when we due to set off again for the border.
By 7:30am the sun was up so the bus had warmed up and we were on our
The landscape has been changed to suit there needs
way, chatting to a lovely Argentinean lady in a mix of Spanish and English, let's call it Spanglish!!!! The clocks are an hour ahead in Boliva than Peru so at 10:30am we were getting our Bolivian stamps in a seamless boarder crossing that you walk over and arriving at Copacabana by 11:30am to the surprise added bonus of a pick up by our hotel.... Just what the doctor ordered after a 13 hour journey!
Hotel Utama was the only one on Hostel World so we booked it, despite it being £10 each, which is really pricy by Bolivian standards but hey we got a double bed with ensuite and views of the lake, brekkie included as well as free mate de cocoa, bananas, oranges, water, sweets and Worthers Originals All Day!!! What more can you ask!
After settling in we headed out to get our bearings and sample our first taste of Bolivian food... 3 courses for £1.70... And no we haven't put the point in the wrong place lol!!!! Lovely! Soup, Chicken and Fruit!!! Checked out the bus prices to La Paz too.... £2.50.....Then checked out the tour prices to the local attraction Isla Del Sol, which
A beautiful blue
is where, legend has it, the Inca Empire began... £2.50, return or £2 one way and you can stay on the island and come back for a further £2 the following day! Finally after all that research and the journey we'd had we decided it was time to break our month long T-Totalness and hit the deck chairs along the water front and sample some local beer in the winter sunshine.... A nice way to see the afternoon out! Top that off with a family sized Pizza and we were tucked up listening to the locals party the night away as it was the towns anniversary and we were punished duly for our drinking in the sun at 3800m after a month long drought with a fit full night sleep due to dehydration!!!
Up nice and early the next day to call home and wish our baby bro 'Dave' a happy birthday and stock up on a nice brekkie before heading out on our day trip to Isla Del Sol. We'd plumped for the day trip as we were pretty sure we'd be able to do the walk from the north of the island to the south in three
Well at least for the Mules
hours and still have plenty of time to chill on the island and take in the Inca sites and the views.... Little did we know we'd be on the slowest boat ever!!! By the time we finally arrived on the island it was 11:30am and we only had 2 hours before we were due to set off back again to the mainland! Thankfully the views on the crossing from our top deck seats on our chug along transport were worth it.... The lake is huge and the water so clear! Real Sapphire Blue...... The scenery looks a lot like Greece, except for the snow capped mountains framing the picture perfect postcard views! Got chatting to a great group of four who were travelling in the opposite direction so we could all share top tips on what to do and what not to do and we've already booked our hostel in La Paz on their recommendation.... So that helped the journey along.....
On the island we paid our 10 Bolivianos (£1) and we're escorted by the guide up the hill at quite a pace to the site of the sacred rock where the Inca creation legend began. We all tuned
Well a copy of one anyway
our brains into Spanish and understood best we could to the tales our guide told us before all placing our hands on the magical rock which is said to give you limitless energy and help you travel safe! Unfortunately time had ticked by and we had to rush back to catch our boat, shame really and I'd recommend anyone else to take a day pack and stay the night.... It's such a pretty place with lovely people who all have the time of day for you and want you to stay. The water is stunning and we even saw people camping on the beaches... What a great idea.... Shame we had no gear.... Not to mention the walk across the top of the island, which despite the blazing winter sun and 4000m altitude making it tough would have been amazing. Never mind hey, we had another three hour dawdle across the lake to do back to the mainland and thankfully another set if nice people to chew the fat with! A surprise bonus stop off at a floating island to see one of the traditional boats and a trout farm, which completed our trip (cheap imitation of the floating villages
you can find in the lake nearer Puno....Again you can't cheat the real deal, stop off at Puno and do a home stay on the proper ones for the sake of an extra day).... And by 4:40pm we were home and dry, finalising our bus to La Paz for the next day, getting some cash (easier said than done.... Bring plenty the cash machines here are very hit and miss) and attempting to Skype the parents!Finishing the day off with a great Mexican Meal extra Picante to warm us up a bit as the temperature has dropped well below zero and we haven't enough warm clothes to wear, even when putting them all on together!!!!
Good job it's La Paz next.... Think Alpaca jumper shopping will be first on the agenda!
There are more photos below