Titicaca and Copacabana, Bolivia

Today is the 25th day of January 2015 and we have an early start again. We board a regular bus from La Paz to Copacabana, a small pleasant little town with definitely no bearing to its counterpart in Brazil. The bus is full and La Paz traffic busy, noisy and impatient. The journey is to take 3 to 4 hours. We stop halfway for a stretch and then continue until we reach San Pablo. On the way we pass the islands where typical totora reed rafts, similar to those used by Thor Heyerdahl in his famous “Ra” and “Kon Tiki” expeditions, are still built. To use the ferry the captain demands a small fee. The crossing to San Pedro de Tiquina, the Bolivian Naval Base are stationed here, takes approximately 15 minutes. The bus is transported on a separate barge.

Lake Titicaca

San Pedro de Tequina

Our bus on its own barge

Our bus on its own barge

The drive from the port to Copacabana is pleasant with waving grass, ancient stone terraces and beautiful views of the lake with a glimpse or two of the snow-capped volcanoes. We arrive in the little town and get dropped of next to the Hotel Rosario del Lago, a well positioned and beautiful decorated boutique hotel.

After a quick delicious lunch of local products, we depart by small private boat for the Sun Island where we
visit the Pilkocaina Temple, one of Bolivia’s most important archeological sites. We then hike towards Yumani village. We drink a nice cup of real coca tea while enjoying the views of the Royal Range of the Andes, the pre-Columbian Inca terraces and the just beautiful landscape of a famous lake Titicaca. Rumours have it that the god “Kotakawana” (god of fertility)lives here. The islands of Titicaca was used as a place of worship by the Aymaras from time immemorial.

Isla del Sol

Isla del Sol

   

Pilcocaina Ruins

Pilkocaina Ruins

 

A view from Sun Island

A view from Sun Island

Enjoying a cup of fresh Coca Tea

Fresh Coca tea for the altitude.

 

A blessing

A blessing

From Yumani village we walk downhill through the Fountain and the Inca Staircase and cruise back to Copacabana. Copacabana is the Bolivian gateway to Titicaca and the sacred Sun and Moon islands. The Incas believed that the creator god Viracoca rose up from Titicaca to create the sun, moon, stars and first humans.

Lake Titicaca is the largest, deepest and highest lake in the world. Copacabana plays an important role in the blessing of newly acquired cars,trucks, buses and mini-busses. So every Sunday the new vehicles, all decorated with garlands of flowers, are blessed by the priest for a type of spiritual insurance.

A Blessed Truck

A Blessed Truck

 

Bus to Puno

On one of the floating islands

Reed canoe

We opt to eat in the hotel restaurant. Superb Andean soup and smoked trout from the lake were more than enough to send us to our comfortable and spacious rooms. The next morning, after a first class breakfast, we visit the Basilica and the Lady of Copacabana, the patron saint of Bolivia. We walk the few streets and after visiting markets and watching people bartering, we board the bus to Puno, our next adventure, in the early afternoon.

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