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After finishing Inca Trail, I went to Cusco bus terminal and took a bus to Copacabana. Most buses go to Puno, then you have to take another bus to Copacabana, but the bus company Titicaca has direct buses. It’s good for those who didn’t plan to visit Puno. Titicaca lake is situated between Peru and Bolivia and is the largest lake in South America. It is also known for being the highest navigable lake of the world, as it is located at 3.812 meters above sea level.
Before entering Bolivia, the bus stops at the border so the passengers can proceed with the papers to leave Peru and enter Bolivia. At the border it is also possible to exchange money.
After about 10 hours in the bus, I arrived in Copacabana. I didn’t stay much time there, but it looks like there is nothing much to visit. There are many restaurants and souvenir shops for tourists who are visiting Titicaca lake. I bought the ticket to go to Isla del Sol. Many people leave early and come back on the same day. But as I was going to spend two nights at the island, I bought the ticket back at the island (they only sell tickets for the same day).
When I got in the island. I had some surprises. I had booked a hostel at the northern part of the island, but at the boat they told me that it wouldn’t go to the northern part. So I asked how could I go there and they told me it wouldn’t be possible for me to go to the other side of the island. I wasn’t confused and didn’t know why I could go there, so I asked another person. She told me that the northern part and southern part of the island were in conflict, so no one could cross the island. So I had to give up the hostel I had booked and look for another one in the southern part of the island.
Here comes the second surprise. Those long stairs. To look for hostels I should climb those stairs with my heavy backpacks, which had a bit more than 20 kg… Then I saw a group of Brazilian guys and asked them to look after my bags for me to go to the toilet. They were looking for a hostel as well. I was going to look for a hostel with them, but after the Inca Trail my legs were hurting so much that I couldn’t climb the stairs. So I decided to stay at the nearest hostel. It was a bit more expensive than the others above the stairs, but the view was so great that it was worth it.
The island is very calm and has many hiking trails. I couldn’t walk too much, as my muscle pain was still killing me. But I tried to visit some places in the island by walk. It is a very beautiful place and the weather was great.
The altitude here is very high as well, so I drank more coca tea. On my way I found this cute alpaca and took some pictures. Soon a girl came and told me I had to give her some money for taking pictures of the alpaca. I had forgotten that there are always someone looking after the animals around. I paid her and she took many pictures for me and we talked for a while.
In the evening I was hungry, so I went to the restaurant close to my hostel. And look who I met there! Those Brazilian guys. They told me the difference about the price of the hostels wasn’t so big and the view from the hostels at the entrance of the island was much more beautiful, so they decided to stay there too.
The next day, I woke up early to see the sunrise. The island name is Isla del Sol (Sun Island) so I thought the sunrise would be great haha. But I suppose I wasn’t so lucky, the sun didn’t come out in the morning. It was reaaaally cold, so I wore almost all clothes I had. Then I came back to my room and slept until noon, because I was still recovering from the trekking. To have breakfast at this place was really nice too.
Even though the island landscape was amazing, I didn’t feel so comfortable there, because it was full of tourists and the local people didn’t seem so satisfied with all those visitors. I talked to some people and I heard that local people were used to live only with the agriculture. And it seems that the conflict between the northern part and southern part of the island is because of tourism as well. I don’t know the details, but even at the restaurants and shops they weren’t so receptive. It’s only my opinion, I don’t see many negative comments about Isla del Sol on the Internet.
I saw many children and alpacas around the island too, all helping at home and shops. At the hostel I was staying, there was a 6-year-old girl. One day a couple who was staying at the hostel started talking to her, while waiting for dinner. I ended up joining them and we made some origami with the girl.
Trucha, or trout in English, is a traditional dish of the island, delicious.
After some days at the island, I went back to Copacabana to take the bus to La Paz. From there I was going to fly to Uyuni, a place I really wanted to visit. Then I took a bus at Titicaca company again, as it looks like it is a reliable company. Unfortunately, most buses and cars in Bolivia don’t have seat belts, so I was a bit nervous. I got into an accident, but it was with my ankle, not the bus. We have to get off the bus to cross a part of the lake and when we were going to the boat I wasn’t paying much attention and twisted my ankle. So I ended up limping all the rest of my trip…
My next post is about La Paz, and later I’m going to write about the expected Salar de Uyuni!
My TOP 10 of this backpack trip: TOP 10 – PLACES/EXPERIENCES OF MY LATIN AMERICA BACKPACK TRIP
How much I spent in this backpack trip: LATIN AMERICA BACKPACK TRIP! ～SUMMARY～
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