Lake views and laziness

Trip Start Jul 12, 2012
1
9
45
Trip End Jun 21, 2013


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Where I stayed

Flag of Bolivia  ,
Thursday, August 9, 2012

I stayed for 3 days in Copacabana, feeling poorly and barely leaving my wonderful hotel room. I failed to visit Isla del Sol, the birthplace of the Incas and the reason that people come here. Apparently, what I missed was 9km of hiking from north to south and a fabulous island experience.

I did venture out of the hotel and witnessed some amazing religious goings-on. I walked up the main street which was chock-full of stationary cars belching out exhaust fumes. In the main square was the city's cathedral, a magnificent white building with mosque-like architecture. All the cars were queuing to be blessed outside the church. Water was thrown over the bonnet of each car by a priest. The cathedral itself had a service going on and the congregation was huge. Inside the cathedral grounds, dancers and musicians were preparing themselves for an imminent performance. Some were wearing what looked like spacesuits, others neon burlesque-style outfits. It was all very strange and fascinating, particularly as I didn't know what on earth going on.

When I was feeling up to it, I climbed to the top of the very steep hill behind my hotel to look at the view. I'd no idea it was a sacred place that attracted locals in their thousands to the shrine at the top. As they queued, I battled past to try to find a quiet spot to enjoy the sunset, which in fact I had missed due to my pathetic pace on the ascent. I had to clear a space among the debris of beer bottles, ash and confetti. People were burning things as offerings (not sure what) and setting off firecrackers nearby. It wasn't quite the place for quiet contemplation that I'd hoped for! 
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