Juliet Ju’s Latin American Adventure – Bolivia 15

BOLIVIA

Well I am now writing to you from my bed in a lake view hotel room in Copacabana, Bolivia. I arrived about half an hour ago direct from La Paz. I have had a bit of an upset stomach today (nothing out of the ordinary for travellers in Bolivia en general but given the obscene amount of antibiotics I consumed in Argentina, was pretty much a given that I would get something!).  This is a bargain little town. You can get a private room here for 5 Bolivianos. You divide that by 6 to get Australian dollars! Ie, the room costs less than on Aussie dollar. As I was feeling a bit like I might need a private bathroom I decided that if I was going to shell out anywhere and spoil myself, this was the place. I saw a nice hotel on the lake and went for it. They gave me an incredible room which overlooks the lake and has cable TV (not that I will watch it) and a private bathroom with hot water for 60 Bolivianos ($10 AUD!!). So Juliet is currently very happy! The best bit is that I can take a chill afternoon this arvo reading my book and staying near the bathroom while at the same time enjoying the lake! Total bliss! Here is a photo of the view from my room!

I ended up spending three nights in La Paz. I really enjoyed it. It is a vibrant city that just exudes colour!! Women in traditional Andes dress (including the incredibly ugly bowler hat but each to their own) mix with women in office suits. It is meant to be an incredibly dangerous city but I felt safe the whole time I was there! I made the most of the tourist scene there and I ate incredible Indian and Arabic food! Mmmm… So good!

So now I am in Copacabana on the banks of Lake Titicaca very close to the boarder with Peru. The drive from La Paz was beautiful. When we arrived at the first point of the lack we had to cross it to the other side. The crossing is run by the Bolivian navy (which is interesting considering Lake Titicaca is only body of water in the entire country of Bolivia the need for a navy does seem a little questionable!). The raft that takes the buses across the lake cannot carry the weight of passengers so we all had to disembark and take a boat across which watching a bus travel across on a rickety raft half submerged by the lake!!  Quite an experience!!

We arrived at Copacabana to the altitude of 3,900 meters above sea level. During the trek across the salt flats I got to my limit of 4,900 but there I was in a car and the exertion did not seem so bad. Arriving here in Copacabana and its intense hills, feeling weak from food poisoning and carrying my very heavy pack, I thought I might faint for lack of oxygen! I was literarily wheezing as I climbed the hill from the bus station to the main square! Interestingly in La Paz the poor are treated to the best views. This is because their homes are located on the tops of the hills where there is less oxygen. The rich live at the lowest points of the city. Here are some photos of the city from a look out at the top of the hill. 

 

I am feeling a lot more happy than I was a couple of days ago. It has taken me a while to get into the flow but sitting on this bed and looking out on that view all loneliness disappears, this is heaven!

So quick update! I spent the day in bed yesterday. I think I slept for almost 29 hours but I am feeling a lot better today. I have decided to stay in my lux hotel another night and then check out Isla del Sol (an island in the middle of Lack Titicaca) tomorrow night! I want to be in Cusco on Monday night where I am planning to stay five or six days before flying up to Bogota! I am very excited to stay with Cristinas (one of the Colombian students that lived with mum and dad) family and to have a base of people again! I think I got old before this trip lost my drive to travel alone!! 

 Ps. Sorry if the photos didn{t work! I am trying something new! ha ha!

Posted from Bolivia:

posted Friday October 2008

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