Saturday, 25 February 2012

Copa Copacabana ahh ahh ahh ahh


Our 3.5 hour bus ride from La Paz to Copacabana was fairly standard, that is except for the part where we all disembarked and our bus drove onto a floating plank of wood to cross the bay.  Thankfully, as passengers, we boarded a somewhat more sturdy craft, relieved that we weren't sitting in the bus while it crossed over. 


DSC01578We arrived in Copacabana searched out a hotel that would keep our bags overnight so we could catch the ferry out to the northern end of Isla del Sol, which involved firstly heading to the south and then changing boats to a slower one which rapidly filled with fumes until we were all feeling ill.  Saskia and Dave headed to the back of the boat for some fresh air, but since the driver would only allow two people at the back to keep the boat balanced, Fernando and Sarah climbed onto the roof to breath
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We tried to find a room, and spent a while wandering around amongst the random pigs, goats, donkeys and hippies until we settled on a place to stay.  Essentially it was just a bed in a small room with a toilet outside – no showers but we weren't expecting one, and for $2/night one can’t complain!


6570236941_6e36cd4047We checked out the Chincana ruins in the afternoon, more impressive than we’d thought and untouched and with great views out over the lake.  We enjoyed walking the northern end of the island with the serenity and sound of the lake lapping the shore.


There wasn't many options for dinner, pretty much only one ‘restaurant’ open in town so we joined the other tourists for a nice dinner of quinoa soup and chicken and then headed to bed as we wanted to be up before the sunrise so that we could see the sun being born from Isla del Sol (as the Inca's believed).  It was a cold night and we slept fully clothed and with extra blankets, but Sarah was still cold and it was very brisk in the morning before the sunrise!


The sky was cloudy in the morning and what should’ve been a spectacular sunrise wasn’t as great as we’d hoped, but it was still worth getting up for.  Afterwards we started our hike southwards so that we could check out the ruins at the other end and then catch the ferry back to Copacabana. 
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The walk reminded us of bush walking back home as there were lots of Eucalyptus trees and the smell was very familiar! Probably the closest thing we’ve been to being homesick in our entire overseas time.  It was a great morning hike, asides from when Dave and Fernando took the high road and it took a while for the group to re-unite and there were a few worries about us losing each other…

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By the time we made it to the southern end, it was a 3 hour wait until the next ferry, so we settled in for some UNO and a drink. We checked out the ‘Incan staircase’ and the ‘ Incan Fountain’ which were a bit over-rated.  It amazed us at the number of tourists who took the 2 hour ferry ride over, spent 5 minutes looking at the staircase and fountain and then the next 2 hours sitting in an overpriced restaurant waiting for the ferry to go back as they all missed out on the more natural, interesting northern end of the island!


Back in Copacabana we enjoyed out last dinner with The Schatzies as the next day our ways would part as we continued north into Peru…

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