Alison & Ryans Travel Log travel blog

View over Lake Titicaca from Isla del Sol

Chanchitos on isla del sol

Incan Ruins

Incan Sacrificial Table

Sunset on Lake Titicaca from Copacabana

It was only about 100km to Lake Titicaca from La Paz, 3 hrs by bus and we stayed at a little town on the edge of the lake called Copacabana. Immediately we liked it (although its not quite the famous Copacabana of Brazil), possibly because it was the first sunshine and fresh air we had in over a week. We were recommended a cheap hostel that was quite flash for the price, only $8 a night for a double bed with cable TV and private bath and views over the lake. Compared to other countries we'd visited in South America nowhere was cheaper than Bolivia. There aren't many places in the world you can get a tasty 3 course meal and a drink for only $2.

Lake Titicaca is the highest inland lake in the world at 3820m. It is absolutely huge and at first glance you would be deceived into thinking it was the ocean. So vast and blue covering an area of 9000 square km. Far in the distance we could see Peru as it shares this massive lake on the border between the two countries. Early one morning we set off on a ferry ride out into the lake to go a large island called Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun). According to ancient Incan legend they believe the sun was born here and there are numerous ruins scattered around the island. Today it is inhabited by a couple of small communities, etching a life on fishing, farming and tourism. What a beautiful quiet place it must be to live.

After the ferry dropped us at the northern end we decided to walk to the southern side where the ferry would meet us at the end of the day. We met a girl named Roni from Israel who was really nice and came along for the walk with us. Walking at almost 4000m, closer to the sun and in the middle of the day it was very hot and the island was a lot more mountainous than we had anticipated. At the high points we could see we were above the clouds visible in the distance. It felt like the lake was an ocean in the sky as we walked for hours stopping regularly to drink and catch our breath. One of the ruins we visited had the remnants of small a Incan village and an impressive sacrificial stone table perched on the edge overlooking the lake.

Eventually after about 5 hours walking we made it in time for the ferry to take us back to town. Being so tired and hot the ferry ride was excruciating. It felt like we were going nowhere, and if we had oars Ryan would have started paddling. It was very uncomfortable sitting on tiny school chairs with the late afternoon sun scorching us through the windows. It couldn't possibly have gone any slower and when the motor caught fire and started filling the cabin with toxic fumes and smoke we were at wits end. I know if Ryan had the strength he would have swum back to shore but finally after close to 3 hours we were back on land. A couple of icy beers later and we were feeling much better. Enjoying the climate in Copacabana and being so close to the water we spent another few days here chilling out in town before our next border crossing into Peru.

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