Finally... Lake Titicaca
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
177Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Apart from Copa town which is very indiginous but also has a street or two of full gringo comforts, we made an afternoon visit to a tiny village trying to support themselves with a bit of tourist money - a guy rows us out to a floating island they`ve made from torturo reeds, bit of birdwatching, the kids dress up in their local costumes and then dress us up. We try to see the giant frogs they`re raising (bit of everything on this tour) but they`re hiding as its too cold. Amazingly, they want 10 bolivianos each (10p, nothing costs 10p anymore).for the whole experience!!
In the harbour there are loads of boats made of the same torturo reeds
Over to Isla del Sol the biggest of the islands on the Bolivian side, chock full of myth and legend - the Incas and pre-inca societies, the Aymaras and Quechuas all believe that the sun and other gods were born here, and once the Spanish established themselves here it was the site of numerous miracles so all in all it is highly revered by everyone.
The island is muuuuy tranquila, no vehicles, only donkeys and llamas to transport things around. We walk from Yumani along the spine of the island to an old Inca settlement, with the Cordillera Real as backdrop and end up in Challa`pampa, the island`s 2nd village. We`re still at nearly 4000m, the difference being that today we laugh at all the gringos who are panting up the hills - its great when you`re aclimatized. We spend a night in each village and reckon we have the best views ever for two pounds a head as we sigh our way around the place.
Back on the mainland we sink cocktails on Copacabana beach (but with hat and gloves as its bloody freezing the minute the sun disappears), we eat an awful lot of trout, and watch cars and buses get a blessing at the cathedral - quite a sight, it seems to be an alternative form of insurance before folk make their journey, perhaps let down slightly by the rounds of booze people drink after the blessing.
We`re delayed a night by the now customary roadblocks between here and La Paz, but its certainly no hardship.
And yes, Copacabana beach in Rio is named after this place.