First steps into Bolivia (Copacabana) by Baz
We left Peru on Monday and crossed the border to Bolivia.I always get nervous going across borders.I always seem to be pulled to the side going into North America and although I have never got to rubber glove treatment I always dread the sound of snapping rubber on wrist and the request to "bend over". However the trip across to Bolivia was thankfully uneventful.
We arrived in Copacabana at lunchtime.After checking in to our mediocre accomodation we went to get a feel for the place and I was immediately impressed.We had only a short walk to the beach of Lake Titicaca and it was just like a picture postcard.The sun was glistening off the clear water, and there were little kiosk restaurants overlooking the lake - with the smell of fresh fish in the air I thought I was in heaven.
We got a trip arranged for the next day to the Island of the Sun.The Island is about 66km from the mainland and is said to be home to some impressive Inca ruins.We had an early start to catch the boat and the 2.5 hr journey was less than comfortable. We arrived at a beautiful sun-scorched paradise Island and walked the 40 minutes to the ruins.They were beautifully located on the edge of a cliff and overlooking the lake, but I wasnt blown away by them.Perhaps its a complement to the craft of the Inca builders of the 16th century, but Ive seen similar looking ruins up the Antrim coast, which were less than 100 years old.However, we did enjoy the day on a very beautiful Island.
The thing that stood out most for me was when we were leaving the South part of the Island to go back to the mainland a native woman got on board the boat.In front of the 40 or so passangers she gave some sort of a speach in Spanish, of which I understood only a few words then broke down crying.It turns out she had been selling tickets for the attractions on the North side of the Island.She sold a man a 10 boliviano ticket and gave him 90 bols in change when he showed her a 100bol note, but neglected to take the money from him.It was some 40 minutes before she realised her mistake and had given a man change for 100 Bolivianos without actually taking the money.She ran for 2 hours to the South part of the Island to catch the man (as all the boats leave from the South) and, unable to remember what the man looked like, was making her appeal to all the tourist boats in the harbour.It was a heartbreaking display by the woman, and some tourists on the boat were moved to tears, however I just kept my mouth shut and kept the 90 in my sky-rocket (pocket).Im kidding of course, it wasnt actually me.
When we got back to Copacabana we went straight to one of the little beachside kiosks and had the most delicious Trout ever.It was just melt in the mouth stuff cooked from fresh right before our eyes.We got to bed early after the tour, it had been a long day.
The Thursday was all about relaxing.I called home and we got our accomodation sorted for La Paz.Then back to the kiosk for another helping of trout.Ill miss the food here and the atmosphere when we head on to La Paz tomorrow. I have a feeling the next great meal we get will be a steak in Argentina, but I hope not.