Isla del Sol, Largo Titicaca

I awoke early, do I start a lot of posts like this, anyways I left the hotel ready to catch the 8:30 boat and then panicked that I didn’t have enough cash and I knew there wasn’t a cash point on the island. I ran to the only bank I’d seen and it didn’t accept MasterCard, I know I’m going to have this issue a lot moving forward. Luckily there was a man in uniform outside the cash machine and he directed me to the towns only other bank which did luckily accept MasterCard.

With a fist full of cash I headed to the harbour where there are a tonne of boats heading to the Isla del Sol. If you don’t have a boat chartered as part of a tour then they leave for the Island at 8:30am and then at 1:30pm. You don’t need to book as there are tonnes of spots. The boats dock on the Isla del Sol, then Isla del Luna. I believe they then return to Isla del Sol and go back to Copacabana. At time of writing due to a disputed the North of the island is closed so you can not go there. The boats return to Copacabana at 10:30am and 4:30pm.

Actually the North side being closed did mess up my plans. For one it is the did with the most ruins so it was a shame to have missed them. I had planned to spend two days on the island, returning in the evening and getting the night bus to Cusco on Saturday night but now I only really needed one day. But we will come to that later.

I arrived at the docks and the girl in front of me was also going one way. The man took my change and she said hi and this is where I met Wiene from Belgium, who can speak about 5 languages fluently. She was about to fly home on the Sunday and had come for a quick tour of Lake Titicaca. This is where I realise I travel slowly as I ended up here for 5 days, although not be choice as I had wanted to catch a day bus to Cusco-I hate the night busses as I feel you miss the scenery. Anyways she had arrived the night before and needed to be back in La Paz the following day.

We chatted on the boat and it turned out she was thinking about staying in the same hostel as me and by confidence I had booked a twin room as that was all that was available so we shared to save money and it meant need not have worried about the cash machine debacle. The boat trip is about 90 minutes. I opted not to take pictures for most of the journey but did as we approached the island.

I had been warned not to take a large bag to the island as the walk from the harbour to the town is steep and I was glad I took that advice. If you do go don’t take yir big bags. Most of the hostels in Copacabana will let you leave your bag there. The walk up is steep and it’s high altitude so I was quickly out of breath. There are also no roads on the island so you either carry everything or you can pay for a donkey but I expect that is expansive. The views, however, are spectacular.

We arrived at the hostel and quickly set down our bags and headed to the mirador at the highest point of the island. There were some complaints in the review of the hostel that it is the furthest from the harbour, which is true, but it’s the closest to the mirador and as we returned for sunset and sunrise the next day I think it’s he perfect location. Also the island is pretty small, nothing is very far. The island you can see in the pictures is Isla del Luna. I didn’t visit as there is not much to do there but if you wanted to you can stay there or just stay on the ferry in the morning that will bring you back around lunch time.

After the view point we decided to explore and walked to the south of the island, looking for Inca ruins on the way.

After walking along the ridge we decided to visit Pilko Kaina, which is one of the few things to see in the south of the island. It turns out that the reason for the dispute is that all the restaurants and hotels are in the south of island and the attractions are in the north. So tourists stop in the south to spend their money and just walk to the north to see the attractions. I’m not sure why they don’t charge but the sites still have a large religious significance for the locals so this might also be why they don’t want tourists visiting.

After the ruins we circled back north and stopped to have lunch whilst admiring the view. After the ended back in town and watched the donkeys carrying up supplies from the harbour to the town.

After all the walking we decided to relax and had a drink with a glorious lakeside view. Although you can’t really not see the lake at any point.

As the sun started setting we returned to the viewpoint for sun set. There were only around 20 people and it was perfect but freezing. A lot of people left as the sun disappeared behind the mountain and we stayed longer and I think the colours became more amazing as it went completely dark.

After we went for dinner at a restaurant recommended by the lady working at the hostel. I had trout and it was delicious. The service was really slow as everything is cooked after being ordered but they provide you with cards to pass the time. We went back to the hostel and had an early night in preparation for the dawn.

We awoke at 6:20 and it was already getting light. I took a couple of photos near the hostel and we headed up to the view point for the third time. On this occasion there were only two other people and we were joined by two more a little later to watch the sun rise.

Once the sun had rises we went back to sleep for an hour before breakfast and heading back to the harbour to catch the 10:30 boat. I had planned to walk to the north of the island and catch the boat back in the afternoon but as I had seen everything and couldn’t go to the north I decided to call it quits.

I arrived in Copacabana around 12, said goodbye to Wiene and headed to my hostel where I rested for the afternoon and sorted photos. Annoying as I had planned ahead my bus to Cusco didn’t leave until 6pm the next day but it has meant I’ve had time to research and catch up on the blog. I was about two weeks behind, although my Mother is months so you know.

I went to a cafe for lunch and to use the WiFi and the cat helped me finish off my food.

That evening I treated myself to a two course meal as I wanted soup and some vegetables. I had another early night and cafe hopped until the bus was due to leave. As I had a lot of time to sit and relax I was finally able to read some of my book. And then that was it for Bolivia as I made my way to Peru.

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