I´m at the beach and I have altitude sickness


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Published: June 27th 2007
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I arrived in Copacabana from La Paz having no expectation and about $12 to my name (in Bolivianos) because I thought I was headed straight for Peru. Well, like one artesano put it, I got trapped in Copacabana for two reasons. The first is that I liked it there, and the second is that I had to wait for the bank to open because there is no ATM in Copacabana.

Copacabana lies on the shore of Lake Titicaca, and the altitude is high enough to make me woozy anytime I needed to walk up stairs or a hill or something. I spent a lazy few days wandering around the touristy town, drinking beer and eating trout along the shore, and hanging out with an awesome Argentinian called Veronica. I decided to join Veronica on her trip to the island (the north end) and we ended up getting stuck for an extra day waiting for the bank to open so I could get some money.

After a painfully slow boat ride to the north, we arrived in a tiny car-less town sitting in the view of some stunning mountains, and bordered by the lake on two sides. Veronicas friend had a tent on the beach and we spent 3 days sitting by the bonfire, wandering around, eating lots of veggies, and wading into the water. On my last day there, I hadn´t had a shower in a while so I braved the freezing cold and bathed in the frigid lake. Afterwards, I walked the short but stunning hike to the ruins in the north of the island, saw the rock that gave birth to the sun, and then returned to the town. In the morning I caught the first boat back to Copacabana and made my way on towards Peru.

On the Isla del Sol I found a few days of real peace. I look forward to going back someday.


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