Thursday, 10 April 2014

Lake Titicaca

Our last stop in Bolivia and our first stop in Peru were both around Lake Titicaca, a huge lake located between the two countries over 3000m up. We left La Paz super early on the 'tourist bus' to head to Copacabana a town on the Bolivian side if the lake, which was where we planned to catch a boat to one of the islands, Isla del Sol. Due to the way the boarder lies between the two countries this involved getting a very funny ferry across a small section of the lake during which our bus was loaded on to a flimsy looking wooden barge!! After surviving this journey to Copacobana, we boarded the slowest boat in the world to take us to Isla del Sol (seriously it took an hour and a half, I could see the island the whole time!!). 

Copacabana Port

After the horrible task of climbing up a lot of Incan steps with our bags we found a lovely room in Casa del la Luna which was huge and well located (and relatively cheap dispite our initial shock at having to spend £8 a night- pricey for Bolivia). We then set about getting to grips with island life, which was pretty easy... Sunshine, great veiws, no wifi or cars, lots of stars and quiet (the only downside was the huge drop in temperature at night when it got pretty cold). The island was a stark contrast to La Paz!! Our original plan was to spend two nights on the island, but this quickly turned to three as we were enjoying the peace so much! Our first afternoon was mostly spent settling in before watching the sunset over an amazing dinner of truncha del diablo (spicy trout).

North side of the island

Looking whistfully into the distance with the island behnd me (new favourtie pose)

The next day we took a boat to the north side of the island which had a cute small town with beaches. From here we set off on the trail to some of the Islands Inca ruins which were uphill and quite small but still cool to see. After a bit of messing around on a beach below the ruins (involving The Photographer braving the ice cold water and going for a swim), we headed south across the island via the mountain tops. The walk was beautiful (apart from the pain it caused my poor lungs) with amazing views all around. That evening we braved a one of the many pizza restaurants (weird for such a little place) where the poor man running it almost looked dismayed to have guests, before getting a nice early night. 

Inca ruins north side of Isla del Sol

Donkeys, the only way to transport anything on Isla del Sol

The Photographer at the end of the pier

Our last day on the island was a planned chill out day, I had great intentions of writing all the postcards I have been carrying around for two months, but The Photographer had other ideas and we set off to look for some less explored ruins on the south of the island. I have to admit we got pretty lost ending up wandering through a forest to the top of a hill which bizarrely had a small AstroTurf  football pitch on it... Once we finally found the right trail we made to the small  but pretty intact ruins at the south which were guarded by a super cute dog!!  We spent our last island evening watching another beautiful sunset.

North side of the island

Children and a Llama (Awwww)

The next morning we hopped back on a boat to Copacobana where we decided to spend the night (giving us time to book buses to Peru). The town itslef if ok, not as nice as te island and pretty touristy, but not a bad place to spend a couple if days if you have the time. We decided to make the most of this stop by walking up to the stations of the cross a view point which was up a pretty steep hill (the perfect Easter pilgrimage). Although I couldn't breath on the way up and the steps were pretty dodgy the view over the town was very nice!! 

Up at the stations of the cross view point

Our last stop on Lake Titicaca, Puno,  involved a small boarder crossing into Peru (again via a very handy 'tourist bus'). Puno itslef was a pretty ugly town, the reason for its presence on the tourist trail is as a jump point to visit the lakes floating islands. These 60 islands made from reads are the home to some of te indigenous population who fled there after the arrival of the Inca's 600 years ago. We decided to do a half day visit which was really nice, though did feel a bit contrived and touristy. The city of floating islands looks amazing as you ride towards them on the boat, and waking around on them is pretty surreal. The islanders themselves are pretty friendly, explaining how they build and maintain the islands and dressing us up in traditional clothing. They do try to sell you  handicrafts most of which they make themselves which when you are on their island are quite hard to turn down (yes that means we bought lots). All in all the visit was worth the nights stay in Puno and was a nice end to our lakeside adventures. 

Uros, the floating islands
Guess where our last stop in South America is??

Location: Lake Titicaca; Isla del Sol, Copacabana, Puno and Uros.

Highlights: Isla del Sol

Top tops: Eat trout its local and super tasty (even The Photographer and his general dislike of fish liked it!!). 

Profile pictures: 0, apart from the one photo above I was mostly to relaxed to pose!

Minutes spent lost: About and hour looking for the Inca ruins on the south side of Isla del Sol, we did find a lovely football pitch though, so definitely not time or energy wasted!!!

Epiphanys: 0

Sunset on the island

1 comment:

  1. it's impressive how little has changed in 14 years... I really enjoy reading your blog Sheena, it brings lots of memories back! Keep writing :)