Arriving in Bolivia turned out to be the easiest border crossing I’ve ever done. No queues, no border guards asking for unofficial ‘fees’, no aggressive money changers, no stringent customs checks, no chaos whatsoever. In and out in a couple of minutes, we arrived in Copacabana five minutes later, and checked into the lovely Hotel La Cupula, a wonderfully tranquil place overlooking the enormous Lake Titicaca.
Our main reason for stopping in the town was to visit the nearby Isla del Sol, so we were up bright and early the next day to get the boat across the lake for the short journey to the island. Or so we thought. It turned out to be possibly the slowest boat I have ever been on, packed with passengers and chugging along so slowly it would probably have been quicker to swim (if the water hadn’t been so bloody freezing).
Two long hours later, and we finally arrived on the island, and set out for the walk via some Inca Ruins down the ridge in the middle of the island to the village at the other end. The ruins themselves weren’t all that special after all the ones we’d seen in Peru, but it didn’t matter a bit – the island is an amazingly tranquil place. The Lake itself is enormous – 15 times the size of Lake Geneva in Europe – and on the day we visited the water was an absolutely gorgeous deep blue colour, perfectly reflecting the similarly coloured, cloudless sky. As we hiked along the ridge, we were rewarded with fantastic views across the lake to the towering, snowcapped mountains of the Andes just to the east.
After an easy three or fours of walking, we were soon at the far end of the island, in plenty of time for the boat, giving us an hour or so to sit in a cafe at the top of the ridge, relaxing in the warm afternoon sunshine and chilling out.
Sadly it wasn’t until we’d got half way across the lake on the way back that I realised that I’d been so relaxed that I hadn’t even noticed that I’d left my fleece back on the island – particularly annoying as I knew I’d be heading to some of the coldest places I’d yet visited in the next few days.
Final stop on the way back made us incredibly glad we’d visited the floating islands in Puno – if I’d thought they were touristy, nothing could quite have prepared me for the fake floating island we stopped at on the way back. This one wasn’t even really made of reeds – it was a wooden platform, moored to the shore, and just covered in reeds and a couple of reed houses. There weren’t even any islanders there. It was a pretty depressing sight, so we stayed on the boat and waited for people to snap some photos before heading back to port.
You can see all of my photos of Copacabana & the Isla del Sol here