We arrived early evening after a fairly poor bus ride with a lake crossing thrown in and headed to our hostal, a pretty good but old hostal with cable tele and a roof terrace. We headed out for our first trucha (trout, kinda) experience in a lovely candlelit restaurant very SE Asian in decor. The meal was great but stupidly we asked for a caraff of tap water thinking, there is a nice big fresh water lake right there, the water will be fine to drink.
The next morning I awoke to severe diahorrea and chronic muscle ache all over. Caroline also had a few too many run ins with the loo. So the whole day we spent in and out of sleep and watching films on cable.
The next morning we both felt loads better so we headed into the small town of Copacabana to smash a breakfast and to organise a trip to Isla del Sol on the lake. It was a beautiful sunny day so we spent the day lakeside and relaxing with Don and Sophie whom we bumped into earlier that morning. That night we returned to the same restaurant for a repeat session on trucha.
We awoke early to catch the 4hr boat ride to the island. Most people only spend the day there and walk 9kms to the southern side of the island for the return boat, but we decided to stay the night and how glad we did, isla del Sol became one of the highlights in Bolivia for us. We arrived to an idyllic laid back small community with two places to eat and only a few more to stay, all within the locals house. And much to our suprise there was a beach! with the odd donkey (and pig) on it. We spent the morning playing with the local kids in the sand and befriending a donkey that took a shining to me after feeding him an apple core. That afternoon we walked a 2 km walk to some inca ruins. It took us through some amazing scenery of life on the island. They really do live here as they would of a hundred years ago. The island was lush with vegetation and old adobe houses made from mud. The ruins were pretty cool, the sun was out in full force, we were happy bunnies. That night we drank cheap vino tinto on our veranda and supplied the stream of kids with sweets, word had got out we had bags of them. The next morning after a few hours on the beach chatting to an Israeli couple, we set off for a 3km walk up into the island to the next village. The walk took us through everyday life of the islanders and like the day before we were fascinated by their mundane choirs like laundry on the rocks by the river and cultivating their crops by hand. That evening back at the family house we hooked up with the Israelis and a German guy and an annoying woman from Paris. We all hit one of the few kinda restaurants, ate trucha then drank till the early hours on our veranda.
The next morning we awoke to the blistering heat, packed our bags and said our goodbyes then set off on the 7km walk to the southern point of the island to catch the boat back to Copacabana. The trek took us high into the rocky bluffs providing spectacular views of the lake and settlements on the island and at 4000m in intense sun this was no mean feat but worth every slow footstep. Arriving some 4 hours later to the southern point we were surprised to find how much more developed with hostels and restaurants it was compared to the north. We were thus thankful we decided to stay where we did.
The next day we caught the bus across the border to Peru with big grins on our faces.