Monday, March 27, 2006


Last week we escaped Arequipa. And decided to see how the socialist movement was advancing in Bolivia. From Arequipa we traveled to Puno and then to Copocabana, which sits on the shore of lake Titikaka. After recuperating, from another day lost bouncing up and down on a bus, We took a boat to the isla del Sol. The isla del sol is an island that is about an hour and a half from Copocabana that sits in the midst of lake titikaka. We opted for the late boat and planned on staying at a recomended hotel on the north of the island. Most people leave early from Copocabana and opt for the day trip.Upon arriving, we learned that the early boat arrives on the north of the island, and the later boat arrives to the southern port. So as usual, we had to call an audiable, when we discovered that the late boat did not go to the northern port. We tryed to convince a few fisherman that it would be fun to sail up the coast. but they saw straight through our alterior motives and politely declined. So, we had a few hours of daylight and figured we could give it a shot, and try to traverse the entire island. once ontop of the ridgeline, a well tracked llama path diverted us and eventually led to a dead end in the middle of a steeply terraced agriculural area. We could see a trail in the distance, and opted to go terrace hopping as opposed to backtracking. Some of the terraces were taller than they were wide, and we were trying to be careful not to disturb any of the fava beans. a few old ladys gave us a serious eyeball, but upon meeting them their eyes mellowed, and were fine with us passing through.

The past few days, the sky had been a bit overcast. so the terrain around the lake appeard to be rolling hills. so, when the clouds cleared later in the afternoon. we were shocked to notice that the clouds had been veiling a range of snow covered mountains that stood up too 18,000 feet tall. the landscape quickly became very dramatic. We followed the ridgeline until we could see a small village in an inlet that we guessed was where hour destination hotel was. so again, we opted for the short cut. and eventually made it too the beach. A local pointed us in the right direction. and we eagerly strolled down the beach to the hotel. When we arrived at our hotel, i swear i saw a tumble weed. Apparantly, our highly reccomended beach front hotel was undergoing some changes in management. And appeared to have quickly fallen from grace. we walked around trying too see if there was anyone there. eventually, a man appeared, who we guessed was squating on the property. we asked about vacancy, and he said,¨sure. just give me a second to straigten up.¨ the view was beautiful, but i think we were the first visitors in a year or so. So as he scurried off, to remove dogs that had occupied some of the suites. we carried off down the beach, laughing at the situation. as we continued on, we passed several other hotels that seemed to have been closed or abandoned. And as night approached we contimplated camping at one of the hillside hotels, when a local couple informed us that a few kilometers up the trail was another village. So, we contiued along the cliff side trail toward the northern fishing village. on the trail we met a mandolin player who was playing that evening. we arrived just at dark and found a great little place right on the lake.

That evening, was the begining of lent so most of the village gathered to celebrate. Everyone gathered around the church, and played music for several hours. the party ajorned early which we thought was surprising due to the fact that it was friday. But when we were awoken to Bells several hours later we began to understand the schedule of a fishing village.

The next morning the sun came out and after breakfast we took a few hours to explore the norhern portion of the island. The day before we had been talking big about swiming in the lake, so as clouds began moving in our bravery began to wain. But we were patient and finally were given a nice window of sunshine. So, rob and i ate our words and went for a brief swim. The boat ride back was beautiful, and we arrived back in Copocabana at sunset. Tommorow we head toward La Paz.

Pictures....above..isla fishin vessel. below..the curtain is lifted.. let the party begin... the sun is out. how cold could it be.

1 comment:

Val said...

Jay, I am living vicariously through you! The photos are truly amazing, and I eagerly await more updates from Bolivia!
You didn't lug your kayaks cross-country trying to find your hotel, did you??
hey to Rob for me.

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