The Savy Travellers

30 08 2008

Posted by: Laura

Travel dates: 6.05.08-6.08.08

Our first stop in Bolivia was Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake (yes, they were stretching for this superlative). As long as we’re making up ridiculous superlatives, I’ll add that it’s also the sparkle-iest lake I’ve ever seen. We decided to visit Isla del Sol, an island known for it’s Incan ruins.

In order to reach the island from the town of Copocabana, you can either hire a private boat, which is very expensive ($50) or take a public taxi-boat for $1.50. Not a difficult decision. We bought our ticket at the dock, boarded the boat, and waited to leave. The guy who sold us our ticket had written a departure time of 12:00. By 1:00, we had not left.  I looked over at the boat driver who had his feet propped up and was reading the newspaper, so  I went to discuss our departure time with him. He was waiting for five more people who were coming at 1:30. I would have asked for our money back, but the guy who sold us the ticket had left, so we waited.  Surprisingly, we left at 1:30. We got dropped off at the southern tip of the island.  There are no cars and no paved roads on the Isla del Sol, so we hiked to the nearest town to find a place to stay.  We watched a fantastic sunset and ate fresh fish for dinner.

Walking the entire length of the island can be done in a day, so we set out the next morning walking along the ridge of the island with views of the lake on both sides. Most of the islanders live in stone houses and farm, so we passed many small terraced fields, donkeys, and goats. We found an excellent beach, (but it’s too cold to lay out).  We passed the Incan ruins from some time a long time ago, which mainly look like piles of stones. While the lake is definitely nice, the island is very dry and rocky, which should be expected for such a high altitude.

When we reached the north part of the island, and found a taxi-boat to take us back to the mainland. We thought we had learned from our ride to the island, so we refused to pay for our ticket until the boat was physically moving.  Fifteen minutes later, the boat left the dock and we happily paid the ticket guy. Feeling like veteran travellers, we sat back for the hour and a half ride back to Copacabana. However, thirty minutes after we left, the boat docked at the south part of the island where we sat and waited for an hour and a half. Once again we were reminded that no traveller can figure out everything.

Check out the pics of Copacobana and Lake Titicaca at our Flickr site***

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