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Copacabana

At the Copa Co!, Copacabana Music and Passion were always the fashion

all seasons in one day 26 °C

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As the bus drove around Lago Titicaca we realised just how bloody big the lake was, passing plenty of farms and a flock of flamingo's!

We reached the border for Bolivia, just before Copacabana! Alan and myself were really excited as we have heard so many nice things about Bolivia and Bolivianos!!!

It all went smoothly as the immigration officers only seemed interested in the fees from American tourists!

5 hours after we left Puno we arrived in Copacabana, on the edge of Lago Titicaca. Immediately we warmed to Bolivianos who gave us directions to the Hotel Cupula (even the hostal touts waiting at the bus stops) and even better they were correct!!!

Hotel Cupula was great.... we were given a room with a fantastic view over the lake with a balcony..... this surely wasn´t backpacking!!!???

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We spent the rest of the afternoon checking out the small town and bumping into fellow travellers we had previously met.... the gringo world is small!

In the evening we had a fantastic meal at La Cupula Restuarant.... I recommend the Mousaka!!! The temperature suddenly turned cooler but fortunately we had a nice comfy, warm bed....... luxury!

After a nice breakfast in La Cupula we walked down to the beach front (well it is a beach but not quite so fancy to call it a beach front and the water is bloody cold!) to catch the boat to Isla Del Sol. The boat was somewhat simple with wooden chairs and many leaky windows BUT for 10 Bolivians each way musn´t grumble!!!

The weather in Copacabana was rainy and cold but two and a half hours later as we reached the north side of Isla Del Sol the island lived up to its name and the sun shone!

Isla Del Sol was very important to the Incas as it is the place where the sun was actually created..... according to Incan Beliefs.

We arrived at Cha'llapampa where we bought provisions (chocolate) and bought our tickets to enable us to view the ruins and museum (for 10 bolivians).

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The museum was a bit of a dissapointment... although it did have a few artifacts from Marka Pampa, a lost city under Lake Titicaca (they don't know much about it but have found ceramics and ruins under the water)!?

It was then a walk across the beach where we some how obtained a 10 year old guide, Oscar!

Our guide took us to the Piedra Sagrada (Sacred Stone) and then onto Chincana Ruins.

Chicana, overlooking the beach, was pretty impressive. It had a room in the shape of the andean/incan cross and a natural well!

Near Chincana there is the Mesa Ceremonica where it is believed sacrifices (human and animal) took place.... nice!

Titikhar'ka, the most important to the Incas, is a rock resembling a Puma is also near. This is where the sun supposedly first appeared..... it was pretty hot!?

After taking many pictures we had to leave Oscar (and the other local children interested in the crazy gringos) as his mum would be mad if he ventured south!

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So we were on our own again and had to tackle the 'one path' walk across the top ridge of the island towards the south!

It was a gorgeous walk that took about 2 hours, we saw many flowers, sheep and the famous 'lake titicaca sail boats'!

We reached Yumani and needed a cold drink, we also ordered sandwiches but half an hour after ordering they informed us there was no bread. Oh well, with no more time to spare we wandered down the Escalera Del Inca towards the boat that would take us back to Copacabana!

The crew gave us a chance to stay for 15 minutes to have a look around Pilko Kaina Ruins on the southern tip but the majority voted against it. We would have liked to see it but the majority ruled!!!! It looked pretty from the water anyway!

After a busy day we had a meal in La Cupula, too tired to venture down the hill, it was nice again!

Mmmmmm a nice lie in before being a little adventurous and heading into town for breakfast and very nice it was!

We then headed up to Horca Del Inca, an incan made astronomical gate on the top of a hill. During the winter solstice the sun shines through the gate!

It was a bit of a climb but well worth it purely for the views over Copacabana and Lago Titicaca. Flamingos were even in sight on the edge of the lake!

We spent a while up there, taking in the views and tranquility before clambering down over the rocks.

A visit to the cathedral was next on the agenda, the bell tower at the front of the cathedral being very impressive. I also liked the simplicity of the cathedral ceiling and windows! Next to the cathedral there is a room where people light candles to thank Camarin de la Virgen for her miracles........ for example helping someone to buy a house or a motorbike ...... those sort of miracles!

This led Alan and myself to the Cerro Calvario. It was a bit of a climb (especially in the heat of the day) to a site that was dedicated to Camarin de la Virgen. Locals bought minutures of what they would wish for, say a car or a boat, and throw it off the side of the hill with a bottle of beer for good luck (obviously the Virgen was partial to a beer or two)! As the result of this tradition there was glass and broken plastic everywhere, it was a bit of a mess really. Alan and myself had bought a minuture hostel (in the hope that the Virgen would be nice to us and let us have a real size one somewhere nice one day) but couldn't bring ourselves to throw it off the side!

In my haste to descend the hill (due to my bladder being full from the 2 litres of water I drank on the way up... doh) I slipped and hit my cocyx on a nice jagged rock..... ouch!

Limping we arrived back in Hotel Cupula for a shower before we headed into town, with some friends, to the big smoke and the Cafe Bistrot where we had a meal that was half the amount for twice the price of La Cupula!!

I still have the little hostal in my backpack, waiting for the oppurtunity to make the wish!!!!!!!!

Posted by stephyd 14:08 Archived in Bolivia Tagged backpacking

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