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Published: February 26th 2019
Today we are taking a minibus to Copacabana on the shores of Lake Titicaca. It’s only 90 miles but takes 4 hours. Partly because it takes ages to fight our way out through the crazy La Paz traffic and partly because it involves a ferry crossing.
First, breakfast. It’s not as easy as it seems as we are behind a Chinese tour group. The buffet looks like it’s been hit by a plague of locusts. There’s no fruit left at all, meanwhile a Chinese woman is trying to force an entire watermelon into her handbag.
Once we have left the city, the driver seriously puts his foot down and our white knuckle ride begins. Soon the highway runs out and we continue on what look like abandoned road works.
Eventually the quinoa covered plains give way to water and we have reached Lake Titicaca.
We stop at Huatajata. Here the papyrus ship used by Thor Heyerdal on his Kon-Tiki expedition was built and you can buy a replica if that sort of thing floats your boat.
We drive on to Tiquina to catch a ferry across the lake. It’s not how I imagine a ferry –
basically it’s a raft. Loaded with two buses. It’s another Top Gear moment.
On the other side we have 40 more km to drive through the winding hillside high above the lake. All driven on the racing line. The view (when I can brave opening my eyes) is amazing.
Luckily, we survive the journey and check into our hostel; Las Olas. Each ‘room’ is separate and unique, in a beautifully landscaped garden on a hill overlooking the lake and town. We have La Tortuga; a turtle shape apartment complete with round bed and a second floor with hammocks and view of the lake.
There are llamas roaming free in the gardens. I think this is cool until I try and take a selfie and get spat at.
After we’ve finished admiring our accommodation, we take a walk into town, along the lakeside and back into town to the cathedral. It’s a beautiful building – 16th century with white buildings and domed bronze roofs.
We stop for dinner on the way back. The restaurant is so dirty I decide not to order. The old man has a tantrum. He heads off up a hill to look
at crosses and I return to my tortoiseshell to Google the restaurant. It scores 1.8 out of 5, with reviewers torn between ‘worst meal in South America’ and ‘worst meal ever’.
Our second attempt at dinner is more successful. We go to the hotel restaurant and have a trout fondue with quinoa salad. It means frying our own trout over a pan of boiling oil at the table. It tastes great and we manage not to set anything on fire.
We return to our room and the old man decides to light the log burner. Again he manages not to set anything on fire – particularly not the logs.
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