On Friday 13th, in the morning, Jemma, Jenni and I had a quick breakfast and went to the bus terminal to get our connection. On that day I was feeling pretty bad, the worse so far. I then realised that I didn’t have the flu but altitude sickness, so I drank a lot of coca tea (avoiding chewing the coca leave that are supposed to have a horrible taste), and force myself to eat some fruit and yogurt. I was cold, with headache and muscle-ache but also very weak and needed energy.
The bus left relatively on time and surprisingly we had no issues to reach to Bolivian border. We got our exit stamps, change money to Bolivian pesos and walk the odd 200 meters by foot to the next country, where we got our entry stamp and hopped on the bus again. By that time I wanted to switch passport and use my French one so I would use it going forward in my trip, avoiding the $100 reciprocal fee in both Chile and Argentina. Sadly Peru wanted to get $40 to stamp my French passport and Bolivia didn’t to let me in without an exit stamp on my passport. So I kept using my OZ passport and plan to do the switch at my exit of Bolivia, hoping it will be easier and cheaper.
Anyways, some four hours later and right on schedule, we reached our destination: Copacabana. It was midday by then. After some reflexion Jenni and Jemma decided to go straight to La Paz while I book the first boat to Isla del Sol to visit the island and the Lake Titicaca. And I would go to La Paz the following night.
I had my first lunch in Bolivia and enjoyed a nice soup of Quinoa followed with some meat and veggies. After that meal I was feeling better, drinking a lot of liquid was definitely the solution. I hopped on the boat early arvo and headed towards the north side of isla del sol. It took a couple of hours to get there but it was a nice ride on top of a little boat across lake Titicaca. There I met Yasmin and Jordan (an OZ-Canadian couple) as well as Mrs G from Melbourne. Arriving on the island we agreed on staying at the same place, a home stay a young kid showed us once we landed. We put our bags down and went for a walk towards the ruins. The north side of Isla del Sol is really beautiful and has the oldest ruins sites of the island. As we walked, we got greeted by the Andes. The snow-capped mountains were magnificent, slowly revealing themselves.
Half way through I stopped and told the guys I was going back. Not feeling too well, still trying to fight the altitude sickness, I took a break. However giving up is absolutely not in my nature. Once I got some air and rested my head, I changed my mind and joined the crew again. The view along the path was really spectacular. Lake Titicaca is humongous and it really seems like the ocean. The sun was so high despite the late time, that was the first day of a long series where I would see the sun go down late. We got to the ruins, they reminded me of the ones in Mexico a bit, not sure if it’s the same civilisation but it looked like it. We enjoyed the site, took some pictures as you do, and slowly came back to the camp. The sun was coming down slowly, making the landscape ever more beautiful. By then all the Andes were displayed, it was gorgeous. We met some locals on the way as well as plenty animals walking freely along the path. By the time we got to our place I was feeling better, taking breaks and pushing through the pain seemed to be the solution (as well as drinking lots of water). Shower, my second Bolivian meal (delicious corn soup) and early night to finish up the day.
On Saturday, most of the guys who travelled with me the previous day, had in mind to walk all along the island and get a boat on the south side to reach Copacabana in the afternoon. I would have joined them and enjoyed even more the island if I didn’t have my big bag with me. I really didn’t feel like walking for three hours or so with all my stuff so I took a boat around ten thirty to Copacabana. I then had a quick stop for lunch and headed straight to La Paz, the capital city.