Copacabana - big trip - diary - bolivia - may 2003

Impressive Moorish cathedral


View of Copacabana

Tuesday 20 - Wednesday 21 May

North from La Paz it wasn't far to Copacabana, which is on a spit of land connected to Peru and surrounded by the serene waters of Lake Titicaca. We crossed onto the peninsula via a small wooden ferry and took in the views of the lake below as we skirted the hilly lakeside.

The town itself is very small but has a huge Moorish style church dominating the plaza. Fresh trout from the lake made a good dinner and we soon found a cheap place to stay for us and the landy.


...too late for these people

Cars, buses and lorries

Up on the hill overlooking town is a row of crosses and some locals sell fake bundles of US$, toy cars, lorries and buses, houses, tiny hampers of food and mini suitcases. The people believe that if they buy a representation of what they want, have it blessed by an old bloke in a blue wooly hat waving incense about, then their dreams will come true. By the end of the year. We met a couple who'd bought a very accurate model of a corner shop and were on their way to the big church to get it blessed as they thought it was more reliable than the old codgers on the hillside. They thought that the journey here from home in Cochabamba was worth it and their corner shop will be theirs by Christmas. They didn't have a toy landy so we didn't bother trying it out.

Please bring me...

...a new corner shop

A boat trip to the Isla del Sol, an important religious Inca site, is the main thing to do in Copacabana if you aren't buying toy cars. After a shaky start with the spare outboard motor having to be used after only a few hundred metres, we cruised over to the island in an hour or so, the sky and lake both deep blue. The island is noteable for its peace and tranquility, no cars, no roads, no horns tooting or people shouting. Just the local people working in their fields or herding livestock.

The island gives great views out over the lake to a big snow capped mountain range in the east and we strolled along, chatting to the farmers, avoiding the pigs and having a laugh with the kids.

Inca waterfall

Inca pigs

Isla del Sol

Broad beans

Using kids for weightlifting

Women working in the fields

The temple on the island is your usual Inca ruin but in good condition with the roofs still intact and a few rooms and passages to explore. The tourists come here using different types of vessels depending on how much they want to pay. The reed boat catamaran with puma heads was the most wicked.

Stylish reed boat

Inside the temple on Isla del Sol

Sharp teeth

Back in time for lunch then we drove the the short trip to the Peru border.

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