December 6, 2007

At the Copa, Copacabana....

Hello, and Happy Hanukkah! It´s easy to fall behind on our posts, so Jared and I are catching up here in La Paz, Bolivia, where the internet is 40 cents an hour, the cheapest we´ve found so far.

Originally, Jared and I weren´t planning to visit Bolivia. Not wanting to spend days on buses crossing the South of Peru, we planned on flying from Lima to Brazil. But we kept hearing amazing things about Bolivia--how cheap it was, how the salt flats in Uyuni were not to be missed--so we changed our route. And that´s the beauty of this trip.

We walked across the border from Peru to Bolivia and then continued 8km by bus to Copacabana, a small town on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Picturesque Copacabana, situated at 12,000 feet, was a good place to adjust to Bolivia´s famous altitude. We recuperated at Hotel La Cupula, the nicest accomodations in town, where our room set us a back $17 a night. I watched the sunset from our balcony, while Jared hiked up the hill for spectacular views of Lake Titicaca. In town, we filled up on trout (trucha) fresh out of the lake, and got to witness the colorful blessing of the automobiles at the cathedral.

We took a side trip to Isla del Sol, the birthplace of the sun in Incan mythology. A slow boat took us from Copacabana to the north end of the island, landing at the village of Challapampa. It was a quaint village with hilltops and views of the clear blue lake. Jared was struck by the island´s resemblance to the Amalfi coast of Italy.

Up the hill we hiked, past donkeys and indigenous women in full skirts and bolwer hats. Somehow we missed most of the ruins on the north side, but we did get to see the Laberinto Chinkana, where the Incan creation legend began. Then it was a strenous 3-hour hike to the south side of the island, up and down large hills. When we finally reached the village of Yumani, we checked into a small inn for $8 per night, a small price to pay for a view of the sunset over Lake Titicaca. While I kicked back at our new digs, Jared made friends with three local kids, spinning them around and showing photos he took of them. That night the stars came out, though we couldn´t identify any of the Southern constellations.

Check out our photos of Copacabana and Isla del Sol. In the next few days, you´ll hear about La Paz, Jared´s bike ride down the world´s deadliest road, and our trek into the mountains. By the way, we love to hear from you, so please feel free drop us a line or leave a comment on the site. Happy Holidays!


Anonymous said...

You two are incredibly lucky to be living this life.

I enjoyed the pictures. The area seems so deserted.

Remember we love you,
Mom and Dad

Anonymous said...

¡QuĂ© envidia! Todo se ve bello, amiguita. This is the dream of many, and your living it!!!

Though I know it was hard work preparing for the trip (saving) and it looks like the trip is hard work too in itself (all the biking and walking and hiking and bus rides), it seems like it is totally worth it. If nothing else, I know this experience will shape you and allow you to see the world in a way most of us can't, through the eyes of those living different circumstances and values and cultures.

Well, I wish you a very blessed holiday. Full of joy and that warmth in your heart that assures you that you are loved. :)

Angie Ortiz

Pandacrazy said...

I love the picture of you Jules with the Llama (or Alpaca)