11 June 2010

Lake Titicaca

Things are moving quickly now that we have only a few weeks left in South America. We recently left Arequipa, Peru, which had been our base for visiting the Colca Canyon and Mt. Chachani. We arrived at the bland town of Puno on Lake Titicaca. We didn't stay long as the tours seemed generic and the city was uninviting.

We continued on to the Bolivian border, where we had no problems but had to pay the $135 USD visa fee. Bolivia started charging Americans in 2007 in reciprocity for the charges the Americans charge Bolivians for US visas. Even though we don't like paying such an exorbitant amount for a visa, it is valid for five years and is in response to a US policy. We can't complain.Chile and Brazil have the same reciprocal charges and Argentina has just initiated it for flights into Buenos Aires.

We spent the night at the Bolivian "beach" town of Copacabana, which was much prettier and friendlier than Puno in Peru. We did not stay long though as we took a boat to the largest of 70 islands in Lake Titicaca - Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun).

There are three towns on this island, but we stayed away from them and instead reveled in some fantastic hiking and wonderful views. We stealth camped at the summit of the biggest mountain on the island, at some 4200 meters. From there, we had the peak to ourselves an experienced one of the best sunsets AND sunrises.

After returning to Copacabana and devouring a very tasty meal, we bused four hours to the capitol of Boliva, La Paz. Our friend Brady was to arrive that same night . . .

Hmm, the view from Puno, Peru. Like I said, not much to see here.

A friend on Isla del Sol, with the other-wordly sheen of the lake in the background. 

An indigenous woman who lives on the island.

One of too many sunset pictures, on the summit.

Yeah it was cold. Dropped below freezing that night, which seems to be standard for everywhere we are camping in Peru and Bolivia. It's the winter here - dry weather, warm days, and bone-chilling nights.

Sunrise in one direction. We had 360 degree views. 

Early morning.

Incan irrigation still works.

The setting of Copacabana. You can see why we preferred it to Puno. Also, there is a more famous Copacabana beach in Rio, Brazil, which is named after this Bolivian town.

1 comment:

  1. just oo'ing and ah'ing over your & kristin's photos here. we're excited to hear more details in person soon!