Bolivia – Copacabana / Isle Del Sol

After a brilliant time in Peru it was time to cross our first border. It was time to say Ciao to the wonderful Peru and Hola to Bolivia.

View from the Hill behind our room

View from the Hill behind our room

We woke early to get the 7.30am bus from Puno to Copacabana we hadn’t booked a ticket we were just relying on there being space, the first company we went to was full, but they advised us there were still spaces with Huayrur Tours, so off we went and got our tickets. The journey takes 3 hours and within that you have to pay a number of little taxes along the way. The journey and the border crossing was better than we’d expected which was good no bag checks only thing you do is go into 2 offices on the Peruvian side to check out of Peru then walk 500 yards across the border to the immigration office for Bolivia, once stamped in its back on the bus.

Our destination was Copacabana to then get a boat to the Isle Del Sol on Lake Titicaca. We exchange our currency and went to get a bite to eat looking out at the harbour after purchasing a one-way ticket to the island. We happily sat watching a big group of people start to get on a boat, I asked Paul what the time was and he said 12.30 pm, our boat was 1.30 pm so we thought nothing of it, paid the bill and went off for a walk, suddenly it dawned on us that Bolivia is 1 hour ahead so the boat that everyone else had bet getting on was in fact our boat and it had set sail, nightmare!. We rushed to the harbour anyway and luckily managed to run and get on another boat destined for Isle Del sol which was late leaving phew.

On the journey over the captains daughter befriended me, she was very interested in the iPad, so we spent the best part of the journey showing her how to use it, along with the photos / videos we’d taken so far, she was probably only 7 years old but soon got the hang on how the iPad worked.

Boat journey on Lake Titicaca

Boat journey on Lake Titicaca

The boat journey across the lake was about 2 hours, you can’t believe it’s a lake not the sea its so hard to get your head around it. When we stepped off the boat a number of small children started asked if we needed accommodation but we smiled, said hola and walked passed hoping to find somewhere off the beaten track.  We sure managed to find that, a half finished house with no name just rooms with nice views, we agreed to stay at £2 each per night how could you refuse. After the owner left we noticed that Paul’s bed was slightly dripping in the middle, the mattresses coming up surrounding him as he lay down, but you can’t complain for that price. It was now about 4 pm so we went for a quick wonder around the north of the island, stopped off at the local shop to get provisions, we decided to try the local red wine at £2 a bottle it would be rude not to, it was lovely and fruity. The place we found to eat was small but had a few people in so we decided to give it a go. I had the chicken, Paul had trout, something we’ve noticed about the service in South America, is that people don’t concern themselves with getting your meals out at the same time, my meal came out first then 15 minutes after Paul’s turns up.

We were staying on the island for 2 nights we thought this would give us enough time to explore. Paul had decided to get up before dawn and climb a mountain behind the hostel and see sunrise, I however due to still feeling ill had happily declined his kind offer to join him, in favour of a few more hours in bed. When he came back with the photos I did regret not joining him it looked stunning.

Walking the Inca Trail on Isle Del Sol

Walking the Inca Trail on Isle Del Sol

The Isle Del Sol is a small island, there is a footpath you can follow to walk from the north shore where we were staying to the south shore. The views were amazing at every turn, looking out over the lake it looks like a mill pool so flat and calm with the sun shinning off it, glistering through out the walk. The altitude is still affecting both me and Paul, we are finding it hard to breath at times so its hard going, a slow walk was needed. We set off at 9.45am and headed south along the shore line, we followed a local lady most of the way, she stopped at one pint looking quite scared, the wind was whipping up the dust in what appeared to be cyclone effect, she appeared to be praying or casting a spell to stop it so she could past by very strange indeed. We got to the south end about 12pm to find a little cafe to have a drink, we’d been recommended to go to a restaurant called Las Velas it made each meal fresh with local organic ingredients, we arrived there at 1pm just behind a group of 4 American girls. We placed our order, trout for Paul and lasagne for me. The menu advises you it might take some time as all cooked fresh, you think that means a little extra, not the 1 hour and 45 minutes it took for the food to come! It was however very nice and I’d probably say worth the wait. So at 3pm we set off back for the north shore and our hostel, returning at 5pm before sunset a fully pleasant day highly recommended if you are in this area.

Tomorrow we return to Copacabana to get the bus to La Paz for 1 night then it’s off on a plane to a place called Rurrenbaque to head off to the Amazon which I’m sure is going to be a highlight of the trip.

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