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Published: December 8th 2010
Mon 22 to Fri 26 Nov – Copacabana & La Paz, Bolivia
06:00 alarm (getting used to this now) to catch a TourPeru bus to Copacabana in Bolivia (still on the banks of Lake Titicaca)
3 hour journey – 2 hours driving and 1 hour doing paperwork to cross the border.
1: Queue to get Bolivian money then back on bus
2: Queue to show passport and paperwork
3: Queue to get passport stamped
4: Walk across border
5: Queue to get Bolivian stamp and paperwork
6: Pay 1 Boliviano on bus to enter Copacabana
Hotel La Cupula is in a great location on a hill overlooking Copacabana. It has fantastic gardens with great views, hammocks, swings, stone picnic tables and bizarrely, a tightrope.
Relaxed in the sun for the first time since our trip began. Dozed in the hammocks whilst listening to birds singing, a donkey braying (if that's what they do) in the distance and the occasional rooster cock-a-doodle-doing … This is the life :o)
Dozing in these hammocks as the sun set we were woken by a small flock of sheep grazing all around us. An old woman in traditional garb was
watching over them. Then a New Age Traveller guy came along and started tightrope walking … very surreal ! The old woman got up after a while, made a strange sort of shushing noise and slowly walked away. The sheep followed her ... ahhh... Tue 23 Nov
Bliss … no alarm today, but still woke at 8am.
We were going to visit Isla del Sol but it would have been a bit of a rush … and we're not capable of rushing anywhere at this altitude. And we were a bit islanded out.
Strolled around town (really short of breath) and bumped into people that we'd met before at other places, this is a typical tourist route so we will probably bump into them again along the way. The beach here looked quite nice from our hotel on the hillside but up close it's not so nice … cheap food stalls, dust, rubbish and pedaloes.
Downer 1: Ken realised that a pair of jeans had not been returned from one of our earlier laundry trips.
Downer 2: No wifi at the hotel but we wanted to get some more blog done so we went
to an internet cafe. Plugged our 'military grade' secure USB device (called an Ironkey) and it was immediately infected by a virus and we lost all our backups of important documents and other useful stuff. Wed 24 Nov
TourPeru bus to La Paz today. On the way we had to cross a narrow stretch of Lake Titicaca – we went across in a little motor boat and our bus went across on a floating raft. Not a site you see every day.
(Plagiarising) - 'La Paz is spectacularly set in a deep canyon at an altitude of over 3500m. It's the highest capital in the world and has the most fascinating and vibrant street markets'
We approached La Paz in the wind, rain and sleet along a scruffy highway of which the last three miles or so were builders merchants … One long building site really. But then the bus stopped at our first sight of La Paz. It's size and location really are quite impressive.
La Paz is a noisy, busy, chaotic place. We weren't sure about it at first but came to quite like it in the end. We stayed here for three
nights. Our hotel – La Loge - was another excellent choice. It was away from the main chaos, our 'room' was really a one-bedroom apartment (with all mod cons) … and we had our own maid to do our free laundry (!!!) … and it was above the best restaurant in town - La Comedie.
Spent the days exploring:
- Witches market with dried llama fetuses.
- Plaza Murillo – a nice square with lots of pigeons (like Trafalgar Square used to be)
- Coca Museum
- Calle Jaen – cobblestone street with one cafe and one restaurant and colonial buildings.
- Mirador Killi Killi – good views of the city all around
Spent a couple of nights in our room just watching tv with a bottle of red wine after a good meal downstairs … that felt good after so long on the go. It was also good to be able to cook our own breakfast without having to meet a schedule.
Bumped into some of the same people again.
Spent a day doing our Christmas shopping and then wrapping it all and posting it home. (This took hours!)
Tip: When crossing roads try to have old women or children between you and the oncoming cars. Use them as cover.
At night the sides of mountains that are covered in houses look like stars.
At 9pm on the last day we set off on a 10 hour (11 really) overnight bus to Uyuni. More about this in the next blog...
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