Frank's Excellent Adventure travel blog

Copacabana, Bolivia

Plaza de Armas - Copacabana, Bolivia

Christmas Dinner

Isla Del Sol

Trying To Keep Up Wth My Guide - UPHILL!!

My Cold Accommodations - Isla Del Sol

Sunset, Lightening Storm

Like the morning sun you come and like the wind you go

Ain't no time to hate, barely time to wait

Wo-oh, what I want to know, where does the time go?...

Christmas day found Paul, Thomas and myself on a Bus to Bolivia. A somewhat crazy, last minute, not too well thought out impulsive side trip. The bus ride is about 3 hours and stops first at the Peru border to get stamped out of Peru and then you walk over to the Bolivian border and get stamped into Bolivia. Simple enough, huh. For most maybe, for US Citizens a bit more of a pain in the, well in the wallet. Almost every other nation gets into Bolivia cost free, for me it was $135/usd for a Visa. So a half hour or so of Immigration and Customs and a few dollars lighter we got back on our bus and made it to Copacabana, Bolivia.

Copacabana is a small town on the shores of Lake Titicaca on the Bolivian side. Why did we come all this way and go through the hassle of another border crossing to be on the same lake we were already on? Good question. The answer is to go out to the Isla Del Sol (the legendary Inca Creation Site and the birthplace of the Sun). Being a bit of a sun worshipper I figured it was only proper to pay my respects. Plus I was tired of being cold (it's cold in the Andes - even in summertime) and I figured the birthplace of the sun had to be warmer. Hahaha....

Anyway, we show up in Copacabana and take off to a Hotel we were hoping to get a room at and when I went to see if they had any vacancy I run into this dude who looks familiar? He looks at me, I look at him, and we both smile. It turns out it was another world traveling friend of mine Alain who was there with his girlfriend Ireen. I had met both of them and hung out with them a year or so ago in Gili Trawangan in Indonesia. He was then taking his Dive Master Training Course, Ireen was hanging out enjoying life and I was chilling with my friends and doing Tech Dives. Small world. Later that evening - Christmas Day - we all got together and enjoyed a Christmas Dinner together.

A day or so later I was on the morning boat to Isla Del Sol. (Paul & Thomas missed the boat and this is where we went our separate ways) I arrived on the island and was immediately greeted by a small island kid who was sent to show me the way to my Hostal. He took off and I followed, or at least tried to, it was all UPHILL!! ( I hate UPHILL!), and it was high altitude (4100 meters) and I was huffing and puffing (and cursing - though mostly under my breath as I didn't think my young guide was ready for my New Jersey vocabulary yet). It took a good hour of climbing to get to the top of the island and from there the view was amazing. I could see Bolivia, Peru, the Isla Del Luna (Island of the Moon) and the crisp, clear, sparkling water in all directions. I was excited. The sun was shining, there was no more UPHILL in any direction and I was warm, well hot, well hot and sweaty from hiking up that damn hill.

I finally caught up to my young guide and he showed me the way to my Hostal. While I checked in and enjoyed some breakfast the clouds rolled in, the wind picked up, then the rain started. I made it to my room slightly damp and cold. Then it got colder. There was no heat available at the inn. So, I spent the next 6 hours or so huddled under a sheet, 3 Alpaca blankets, a comforter, a bed spread and still had all my clothes on and my hat and my gloves. I was freezing. Birthplace of the sun my a**! Sometime late afternoon the sun did actually make an appearance and for a brief moment I basked in all its glory. Then the clouds rolled in, then the thunder started, then the lightening, then the ... well you get the idea. It was actually one of the coolest electric storms I have ever seen and it was coupled with one of the most colorful sunsets I have ever witnessed. It was quite a show. If I only could have been warm for it. That night found me huddled back under the weight of all those layers (with the addition of silk long underwear and all my sweatshirts) praying for morning and the sun god to make another appearance.

The sun came out long enough for my brain to thaw and for me to decide to cut my visit short and catch the next boat back to Copacabana. What a good idea. I wound up with a sweet room overlooking the town and the lake and it had a FIREPLACE! Whoo hoo! That night I burned every last sick I could find. I was warm, I was happy.

To be continued....

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