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Published: November 11th 2018
Early pickup this morning at 06:30 for transfer across the border to Bolivia and then a tour of the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca before traveling to La Paz. Same flat dry land scape that we’ve seen ever since leaving the Colca Canyon. We stopped just once to look out at Lake Titicaca where you can’t see the other side so it looks like you are looking at the ocean rather than a lake. We got to the border at Kasani and went through the usual procedure of going to the police first where they check your passport matches your exit form and you then go to immigration and get your passport checked and stamped.
We then walked across the border and registered on the Bolivian side, then to a different van. There is also a time difference of one hour so the time was now 10:30 rather than 09:30. Our luggage had been transferred by a little trolley on the back of a bicycle. It was then a short drive to Copacabana, but this time in Bolivia. We were driven to the main square and taken to the Copacabana Basilica which is quite different looking to ones we saw
in Peru. There is a Moorish influence with domes and tiling on the outside. We were then handed over to a new Bolivian guide, Nancy and our small group had people from La Paz, Uruguay, Argentina and Spain. Nancy explained a few things inside the cathedral and outside explained how people bring their new cars to the church for a blessing and there was quite a line-up of cars waiting. We then walked over to the market area adjacent to the main square, before going back into the van for our transfer to a catamaran for our trip to Isla de Sol on Lake Titicaca.
On arrival we had a typically steep walk to the Botanical garden where we saw a display on the top terrace of medicinal plants. This finished at a café which had great views of the Andes in the distance. After taking photos we were taken to a small area where a shaman performed an ancient Incan ceremony, burning offerings to the gods and praying for our well-beings. It very much reminded us of Daisy’s mum’s Taoist rituals at her father’s grave site when we go there. We were all given certificates as well for
participating in this ancient ritual.
We then entered a small museum with many pre-Incan articles discovered in the area and they had a very neat timeline showing when certain groups existed. The Incas only ruled for a relatively short time. We were then shown a short demonstration of how the reed boats are built before going back down to the port and boarding a reed boat for a short trip to another spot on the island to meet our catarmaran. However, this time we got the chance to have a go at rowing the boat. We had to dress up in a poncho and hat beforehand so that was fun as well.
Finally, we boarded out catamaran at 14:00 for the two-hour journey to Chua Visalaya. The two hours went very quickly. First, we were served a three course- lunch, quinoa and vegetable soup, buffet with chicken, trout and salads, fruit salad with ice cream. Then time to relax watching the shorelines and the Andes mountains getting closer every second. They also showed an old Jacques Cousteau documentary about Lake Titicaca which thankfully had English sub-titles.
On reaching the port, our bags were transferred to the van
for us and we spent another two hours on the road to La Paz. We passed an area soon after leaving the port that had some nice houses with a proper roof and were actually finished and painted, so maybe that area is exempt from the finished building tax. We got to La Paz hotel, La Casona at 19:15 and had another lovely dinner at the hotel’s restaurant which received some good reviews on Tripadvisor.
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