The birth of the sun

Trip Start Sep 17, 2007
Trip End Oct 08, 2008

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Isla de Sol is the birthplace of the Sun in Inca legend and also where the first Inca originated (Inca being the ruler not the people--they were mostly Quechua).  Boats only leave in the morning and we chose not to take a tour so we wandered down to the docks to find a boat.  Breakfast, usually with pretty good rolls with butter a jam, consisted of two slices of dry bread cut in half with coffee.  I have dreams with pancakes, bacon, and eggs. 

The boat to the islands was slow.  Very slow.  We chugged up to the north side of the island.  The plan was to walk down to the south side to be picked up by the boat.  They say that 5000 people live on the island.  I have no idea where.  Most of it is barren wasteland.  Erin was biased against the island from the beginning.  As we docked at the north end, one of the passengers stepped to the front and announced himself as the guide.  He herded everyone off the boat and told them where to go.  The ticket clearly stated that the guide was not included, but he acted like it was.  Most of the group stayed while the rest chose not to use his services.  We had to buy a ticket for the nothern ruins.  A half an hour brought us to the sacred rock used for sacrifices (would have walked right past it if the guide hadn´t stopped there).  The temple didn´t seem to exist anymore.  At the far north end of the islands was a fairly large ruin looking out over the sea.  It was kind of like a labyrinth and it was fun to climb around.  I guess we´ve been spoiled by Peru but there wasn´t much to see.  We now had a 3 hour trek across the ridge of the island to catch the boat back.

The scenery was pretty spectacular since the island had a bunch of peninsulas jutting off in every direction.  But that was about it.  The path kept going up, and when we thought we´d reached the top another summit appeared.  There were some more ruins and a big area where rocks were stacked as offerings.  Erin found it boring.  I thought it was a nice hike but it wasn´t spectacular.  The icing on the cake was when we were nearing the end of the island and ran into a checkpoint.  They asked for tickets.  Then they explained that we needed to buy another ticket for the south side of the island.  This was not mentioned before.  I asked them for what sites, for what museums, for what reason we were buying this ticket.  They guy looked confused and turned to his comrade for help.  He explained that it was to use the trail through the community.  We were paying to walk through a town.  Past a town.  It was down the hill from us.

We had a small lunch and walked through the "town" of Yumani down to the docks.  Yumani was mostly a bunch of closed hotels and some restaurants.  We caught the boat which stopped at another small ruins (with another admission fee).  We chose not to take them up on the offer.  Then we chugged back to Copa.

All in all, I suppose Isla de Sol can be given the miss unless you really like hiking.  I really liked Copacabana, but if you can do the Peru side or the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca, take the former.   

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gringoloco on

Isla del sol
I took the same excursion and enjoyed it!

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