Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lake Titicaca

We took a much-needed holiday about 2 weeks ago to Lake Titicaca (yes, it’s a funny name…go ahead and make your best joke). It was our first time outside La Paz since November. We spent our primary night in Copacabana, which is a far cry from Brazil’s Copacabana, but it didn’t keep me from singing the song. We stayed in an amazing accommodation called Las Olas (The Waves), which was a series of cabins situated on the side of a small mountain. All the cabins had a spectacular view of the vast lake. We ate trout, drank coffee, and followed a trail for a spiritual pilgrimage called Calvario, which led to an unobstructed view of Titicaca offering a picturesque panorama of Copacabana and the wild, raw outlying areas. Magnificent.

The resident llama at Las Olas

One of the crosses on the hike up Calvario

View of the bay of Copacabana from the top of Calvario
The next day we boarded a ferry with a bunch of hippies headed to Isla del Sol (Island of the sun). Seriously, I think we were the only people on the ferry without dreads or patchouli. We rode for 2 hours to our destination on the north part of the island. We knew very little about the island, only that we had to spend one night on the north and walk to the south…the north was crazy. When we arrived, we were welcomed by pigs, sheep, donkeys, and very little visible accommodation. A boy led us to a room that Duane couldn’t even stand up in, that held two single beds pushed into two corners. We declined. We ended up staying in the matrimonial suite of a cholita’s home consisting of two double beds, thankfully situated in a quiet part of the town. Eating was another story. We went to a restaurant and ordered spaghetti…unfortunately the two girls who were there before us ate it all. I don’t think the restaurant had anything else. Now, don’t get me wrong…the north is not all bad. There is a beautiful white sand beach and the temperature was considerable warmer…warm enough that Amelia swam in the lake.
Right outside our "hostel" 
Our hostel
My little bean in all her beach loving glory

The next day we arose earlier than the hippies and were able to get some food, and then began our three-hour hike across the island. This was easily the highlight of our trip. We walked on a makeshift path that wound it’s way through the lush greenery, across sandy beaches, up steep, arid hills, through small farming towns, all with grand views of the lake. We ended our trek in a village by the name of Yumani. This village provided a much nicer stay in comparison to our experience in the north. We had a lovely hostel that overlooked the lake, took a walk through the eucalyptus trees, and ate at a rustic but delicious restaurant that sat at 4010 meters. The entire experience was amazing. The island doesn’t have a single car on it, and the noise of La Paz is only pronounced by the profound silence of Isla del Sol. Our evening ended with an impressive display of lightening.

Incredibly productive land. Every available square inch is used for farming

La Paz felt cold in comparison to the sunny, hot weekend we had at the island…must have been because we were closer to the sun. I can’t even begin to express the extreme heat one experiences when in direct sunlight…you feel like your pants just might spontaneously combust! The temperature outside will only be about 15 degrees, but that sun will char anything in its path!

Anyway, I would strongly encourage everyone to visit Bolivia. I have never been to another country with such a diverse, extreme, and vast topography. It’s absolutely breathtaking and worth a visit! 


  1. Wow! so fascinating! and you all look so good :)

  2. Your pictures make me want to go! BTW, which baby carrier do you guys use with Amelia? :)

    1. Beth, this country is crazy amazing!!! I don't know the name of this baby carrier because we borrowed it from a friend, but it was awesome!!! I would totally recommend it. It was too small for duane but fit me perfectly so you wouldn't have a problem. I'll find out the brand for you.