Isla del Sol - Bolivia

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February 20th 2012
Published: February 21st 2012
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Isla del SolIsla del SolIsla del Sol

packed lunch stop!
Breakfast and down to the quayside. The Dragoman trip coming the other way from Rio to Lima was in Copacabana at the same time as us although they were staying at a different hotel and it was arranged that the two groups would head out together to the Isla del Sol which legend says is the birthplace of the Incan Sun God.

The boat trip was fairly tedious in a rather delapidated boat. It took a while to get going because the leader from the other group who accompanied us seemed to think that 30 odd people could fit into one boat and finally, had to hire a second one. Neither boat had a toilet and the trip was over two hours to reach the island. We were both first off to find the nearest rocky outcrop as once again, had consumed too many fruit juices and coffees at breakfast time on the supposition that the boat would have the same facilities as previously. Ed nearly had to water the engines!

We just happened to get on the boat with most of the other group. They were all a lot older than our lot and some of them in
Isla del SolIsla del SolIsla del Sol

Walking across the island from North to South
their 60's and 70's. They had not had much luck with their truck and had broken down nine times and not reached their hotel for the night until 11.00 pm some evenings and had broken down at 5000 metres and had had three nights without sleep. No wonder they didn't appear particularly happy. Two of their group had apparently had enough and opted out of the trip and flown home.

We clambered up numerous steps to ruins above the boat harbour and the guide explained all about them and showed us the sacrifice table where llamas, etc. where sacrificed. Apparently, it is a myth that there were human sacrifices but as the Incan nation were unable to write, all legends were handed down by word of mouth from father to son so nobody really knows whether there were human sacrifices or not.

The group then split into tw. Those that were suffering from a hangover from the night before or who did not or were unable to walk any distance went back down the way we had come back to the boat for a one-hour trip from the North of the island to the South where they would await the rest of the group. Some of our group didn't even make it to the harbour and were sleeping in after going to bed at 6.00 am after partying all night in someone's room.

The guide advised us that it was an easy 3 to 4 hour walk which was approximately 9 kilometres from the north to the south of the island. It was certainly not an easy walk. The paths were wide and easy to walk but there were three to four steep hills which we needed to walk very, very slowly due to the high altitude and in order not to be totally out of breath. When we reached the top of each hill, it took a lot longer to recover than it would at normal altitude. The scenery was breathtaking and it helped that the weather was good and the sky was blue and the sun was shining. It was a quite a slog to the end because our boats did not moor in the main harbour and it was an unexpected additional hike up and over terraced promontary and down the other side to another cove.

The guide misled the group on the difficulty of the walk. We were absolutely fine and thoroughly enjoyed it and were not tired on the return. However, some of the other group - about 14 people - and not just the oldest ones - really, really struggled and were about an hour or so behind the rest of the group. Jo feels that going to the gym 3 times a week plus must have helped!! Ed thinks the Starbucks coffee at his place of work also helped!!

Arrived back at the boat and waited a while for the stragglers. When they didn't appear, 10 of those waiting on the second boat joined ours and we set off for Copacabana harbour. Arrived back about an hour and a quarter later. Apparently, one member of the other group suffered greatly from the altitude and the second boat arrived back over two hours later......

Everyone did their own thing in the evening and we had asked the other group who had already been in Copacabana one night whether they could recommend a reasonable restaurant. On their sayso, we went to a very nice pizzeria and each had tagliatelle with pesto sauce, a beer and a bottle of water each. The spaghetti was excellent.

Went to bed at a reasonable hour.


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