Lake Titikaka

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December 13th 2011
Published: December 30th 2011
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After much thought and calculation of bus times Chev and I decided that Bolivia was calling our names after all. We hoped on an overnight bus to the Bolivian town of Copacabana on the shores of Lake Titikaka. We made it to Bolivia without much ado, although we arrived a bit late and had to change buses three times. We met with some nice backpackers and joined them for a quick walk around Copacabana and lunch and then all set off to Isla Del Sol, the fabled birth place of Incan legends. According to legend, Manco Capac and his wife-sister, Mama Ocllo, the first Incans, were born out of the lake and the main god Viracocha first appeared at a site on the north end of the island. Chev and I of course had to go check out this very special place.Due to the late arrival of our bus we didn't arrive on the island until 3pm and had to arrange a private boat, with a lovely, proud indigenous man, who was dressed in his best vest and felt hat, to take us from the south part of the island to the north and back again. He gave us an hour and a half to explore and insisted we return at 6 pm on the the dot! The hike to the site is 40 mins each way so Chev and I had to book it to the ruins so we would have a bit of one to look around; as it was we still only had 15 minutes to explore. Chev took sometime to sit quietly and take it in while I wandered around. The ruins were not much to look at but the walk there and back and the scenery at the site were wonderful. The place looked a bit like Greece, Chev said, and we met lots of friendly locals along our walk. I was also befriended by the cutest little donkey, or burrito if you will, who came over and gave me a bit of a snuggle with his nose. We arrived back at the dock right at 6pm and had a pleasant ride to the south of the island. We quickly found a place to stay in a rustic little hostel with no electricity and a shared washroom, which Chev and I hardly used as we had to go outside to get to it and it was very cold, at least to our standards. We scarfed down three orders of fantastic spaghetti between the two of us (we had ordered 1 order and some soup but the soup never came s more pasta was needed) and then called it an early night, reading nestled under our many covers. The next morning we woke bright and early to a chilly, rainy morning, with the hope of having a fresh trout breakfast, which we ad ordered the night before from the young gent who had brought us dinner. The fish, like the soup, never materialized and we were forced t leave the island without breakfast. We got back to Copacabana a bit after noon and had about an hour to get money, go online to check on the status of our salt tour and get food before hopping on a bus to La Paz. We were fairly successful and at least found some cheap and delicious trout which we ate greedily before we both dropped of starvation. The bus to La Paz was fairly uneventful except when we had to disembark the bus in order to ferry it across the lake on a less than study looking barge; we took a small power boat. During the crossing, which was about 70m, we saw the Bolivian Coast Guard. Funny as it is a landlocked country! After that the ride was fairly standard, a bit hot, bumpy and with bumping tunes. We arrived in the outskirts of La Paz in about 3 hours, after driving through the dry rolling hill countryside of Bolivia. The barrios outside La Paz are grim to say the least: dry, poor, not a plant to be seen and all cinder block buildings in various stages of completion.Our time in La Paz was short and sweet. We sorted out our tour, got more money, bought alpaca touques, gloves and socks and ate some delicious Halal food. After that it was onto another bus and off to Uyuni. Much of this next bus trip was spent sleeping and when we awoke we were met in Uyuni by the tour company and spent the next hour or so waiting to start our tour through the salt flats and deserts, west to Chile.


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