Bolivia!

9 11 2007

Well, we made it. Peru was getting a little frustrating toward the end. In my head I have written several posts that have been quite scathing toward the Peruvians, but luckily there was no computer handy. In time they may be compared with the Bolivians. We’ll see.

We took the ‘short cut’ through Copa – Copacabana (I’m now listening to the Barry Manilow song I may have stolen a line from – every time we mentioned the towns name). The town was ok, full of gringos. The most noteworthy item of the day was we failed to realise that Bolivian time is one hour ahead of Peruvian time. And hence we literally missed the boat out to the Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun, and the legendary birthplace of the Incas). So instead I rode out along the peninsular, saw the island and a few other impressive views as well. When we did make the boat (for the very brief – 1 hr – afternoon tour), I was glad I’d ridden around. The township on the south of the island is now very touristy.

The road out of Copa – Copacabana, was in fact very picturesque. The views of the lake on the left, and then the right, and then on both sides was slightly dampened by the snow falling on us. I guess this is really a different Copa (copacabana – you’re sick of it? think how Rahel and Joerg feel!!!) to the one in the song. The snow went away, the sun came out and the views returned. Then the road ended.

Luckily there was a barge (or several) waiting to take us across the short section of lake. We rode on, as do the buses. I can tell you it looks odd seeing a bus float across a lake.

Another day and a bit on increasingly flat road and we are in La Paz. Or very close to it. One policeman we asked sent us down a rather grand road, in, it turns out, completely the wrong direction. After about 5km we smelt the rat, turned around and rode back up the hill. And then saw it from above. This place is huge!

La Paz. Bolivias de-facto capital. Lots of people here. Lots. I don’t mind that, but for so long it’s been me, or us, a road (or dirt track), the infinite sky (or rain clouds) and mountains (or a few times a lake or altiplano). Ok, lots of variety, but a distinct lack of crowds.

A day or so here, and then off south again – we’ve already found the road to follow (courtesy of the nice policeman mentioned above). The major problem is the road is 500m above us. Another morning climb.


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