After La Paz we took a bus to a very touristy town of Copacabana, which sits on the edge of Lake Titicaca. It was alright. Kinda boring, to be honest. Also a place full of steep hills to climb and feel ashamed halfway up because of how much I was panting. Seriously. I used to run all the time and I know I have much better endurance than this! But in all seriousness, altitude is no joke. We walked up a particularly steep hill which felt like it was nearly vertical in order to get to the top of a hill to overlook the city. It was here I did another painting of the view (after catching my breath for ten minutes).
We also caught a boat to the Isla del Sol (island of the sun) which is where supposedly, the world began. The Bolivians like their Sun and Moon stories and gods. We originally wanted to hike from the south to the north of this island, treating it as sort of a trial run and exercise day in preparation for Machu Picchu, but we only got about 1 hour into our 4 hour hike. We were stopped at a checkpoint by some rather non-threatening locals who shook their heads “no” at us if we tried to advance further. They explained in Spanish that we couldn’t continue. Some other travellers told us (in English) that we would get turned around because the north and south people are in some sort of feud, and therefore tourists cannot pass. Well! We were perturbed! Why did no one tell us this before we took the 1.5 hour boat ride to the island? Why not tell us upon landing on said island? Why not tell us when we started hiking up this ridiculous incline? Well, why should they? They made money off our boat tickets, off our “arriving on the island” tickets and on the lunch we had to buy at the top. So, what I mentally prepared for as a four hour steep hill trek was only an hour ascent, a 20 minute descent, and a card-playing afternoon while we waited for the return trip back to Copacabana. Don’t get me wrong, the views were great, I got some exercise, and I beat Callum at Crazy 8’s. All in all, a good day.
Bolivia has been a very interesting country to see and one I never imagined going to. It was really all Cal’s idea to see it, but I’m glad I got to tag along for the ride too. I would recommend it for anyone who likes the outdoors, adventure, and scenery. We reflected together that we have really enjoyed our time here and think that it has been worth it. Cold, steep, hard at times, but worth it! Our second country down.