Last known location: London, England

At the Copa…Copacabanaaaa…

The journey to Copacabana, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, was nice and short (about 3.5 hours) and quite fun. We were bussed to a town called San Pedro where we then had to get off the bus and onto a little boat to take us across the lake, thus avoiding going all the way around and making the journey twice as long. The coach also got a boat across the lake and, despite a few worrying backward rolls, made it to the other side in one piece. We all climbed back onboard and it drove us a further hour to Copacabana. More spectacular views en route (I suggested it looked like Wales, and Dan eventually agreed!) and we arrived feeling very happy to be out of the city and next to this beautiful lake. We wanted to stay right on the lake so headed straight to the shore. After checking out a couple of places we decided on Estella de Titicaca, mainly because we’d have a balcony overlooking the beach. Not a bad view to wake up to in the morning!

Copacabana is a small town, geared heavily towards tourism. So, again, there were a lot of backpackers and even some families. Lots of bars and restaurants, too, many specialising in rainbow trout caught from Lake Titicaca. We spent our first afternoon checking out the town, particularly the Moorish cathedral with beautiful domes and colourful ceramic tiling. The cathedral had welcomed pilgrims from Peru and Bolivia over the Easter weekend who came to honour the Black Virgin of Copacabana. This perhaps explains why the cathedral is so large in comparison to the small town.

For sunset we decided to climb up Cerro Calvario, a hill north of town that allows for beautiful views over the lake. The trail to the summit was surprisingly steep and because of the altitude we got really out of breath! But it was worth the effort, we sat on the top of the hill as the sun set over the bluest lake. Gorgeous! And the climb down was much easier so happy days!

The next day we were up early to get a boat over to Isla del Sol, the legendary Inca creation site and the birthplace of the sun in Inca mythology. The boat took about 90 minutes and travelled painfully slowly – walking would have been faster! But we were kept amused by a group of rowdy Argentines who managed to persuade the boat crew to let them smoke a few spliffs to make the journey go faster. The boat dropped us on the north of the island where we explored the Chincana complex, the site of the sacred rock where the Inca creation legend began. We then decided to walk to the south side of the island where the boat was picking us up in the afternoon. It felt really good to be out and about in the fresh air and the 10km walk, although moderately strenuous with all the ups and downs of the mountains, was lovely. At times we were the only people around and it felt like we had the island to ourselves. But occasionally we’d pass a local tending to sheep or climbing up the hill with a couple of donkeys in tow. We had a really good day and certainly slept well that evening. Although Dan did wake up to a sore head – he didn’t wear a hat and the top of his newly-shaved head got a bit sunburnt!

Our last day in Copacabana was spent sitting by the lake resting our aching legs and enjoying the peace and quiet. We sorted out a few bits for getting to Peru and had another walk around town. It’s a bit sad to say but we were very excited that one of the shops in town had a really good book exchange, there were hundreds of books to choose from so we spent ages deciding which to go for. It’s the small things…

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