Isla del Sol – Day 1

Saturday 24th October 2015

We woke up at 5am with the alarm clock, slept in until 5.20am, got ready and grabbed a minibus from the street from Obrajes neighbourhood where Sam lives to the La Paz bus terminal. We were there around 6.15am and went to different booths to find bus tickets for Copacabana.
This agency told us that the first bus was departing at 7.30am, not before so we bought our tickets with it.
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View of the terminal. Could be Gare du Nord in Paris, except there are no trains leaving from here.
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We went for a brekky in a warm cafe. We chatted a bit with that guy whose back you can see on the right who is wearing an orange down jacket. He was a French guy who had just spent 2 years and half cycling around South America.
He was going from Bogota to Ushuaia and had still 6 months ahead of him! You can find his blog here:

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Before to board the bus, we bought our “Bus Terminal Usage Fee Ticket” which all passengers have to get when taking a bus from the terminal.
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About to board the bus
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Here is a map to give you an idea of where La Paz and Copacabana are located. Isla del Sol is the tiny little island North of Copacabana.

La Paz to Copacabana
View from the bus. Wondering what they have in those big bags!
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People having breakfast.
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Women seen right after a bridge
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Agencia de huevos
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We passed this market
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Woman carrying her child on her back as all of them do here
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Landscape on the way once we passed the market in which we got stuck forever in a traffic jam
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We could see the mountains in the background
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After that I slept for a good hour. I still had the controllable diarrhea but also crazy stomach cramps at that moment which felt like a knife was slicing my stomach for a few seconds from time to time. It was the worst stomach pain I had had in the entire trip. We arrived in the small town of San Pedro de Tiquina where many women were walking around selling flowers, like this woman.
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We disembarked from the bus which got put on a raft to cross the river.
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We queued to buy tickets to go on a small boat to cross the river. Or rather Sam queued as I rushed to the toilets and stayed there for a while!
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Getting onto the small boat
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When we disembarked from the small boat onto the opposite river side, there was this guy from Migracion asking to see our passeport. I always have my passeport with me when travelling but as Sam has been working in La Paz for a few months, she didn`t have it with her. I have to say when I live in Australia, I never carry my passport with me either. We didn`t expect to be asked for it. The guy made a fuss about the fact she didn`t have it and hold us up for a while then said alright, you can go but don`t forget it next time. By the time he let us pass…our bus had gone to Copacabana without waiting for us! Luckily, we didn`t have any big backpack in it and had only taken our small packs that we carried with us.
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There were two other big buses still there. As we had paid a ticket to be taken to Copacabana, we were not keen on having to pay a mini-van so we tried to sneak in this first big bus but it turned out to be full so we couldn`t take it.
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We boarded the second big bus but this time, we explained upfront the situation to the driver, the fact that our big bus had not waited for us. He didn`t care and refused to tak us onboard. So we went to the mini-van. There were already 2 women in it, so with us it was 4 passengers. The driver wanted to wait for 2 more passengers before to go. We waited for half-hour and then we talked with the 2 other women and all agreed to pay the extra money that the 2 missing passengers would have paid and not wait for them and rather finally go now. The driver was ok with that and we shoot off.
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Off we go.
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The view on this small journey to Copacabana of about 40 minutes was really beautiful. We could see Lake Titicaca on both sides.
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Sometimes you really wonder if this is just a lake.
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The hills themselves on this peninsula where very pretty too.
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We passed this cyclist traveller.
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The road ahead of us.
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Another view to the left of the pretty hills.
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We arrived in Copacabana.
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Juanitette spotted Giant Smurf and went for a photo session with him.
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Close-up of her and her new smurf buddy called Smurf Soapy.
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The impressive church on the plaza, built on a Greek Orthodox church`s style.
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Walking down to the ocean to buy tickets for the boat.
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A huge anchor.
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We embarked on a small boat which left at 1.30pm for Isla del Sol. There are 2 scheduled departures for the small boats to take passengers there, one at 8.30am and then this one at 1.30pm.
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Sam and me slept most of the 2 hours the journey took. I still had those stomach cramps giving me a hard time. Here is one shot of the Lake Titicaca seen from the boat`s window.
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A small island on which there were lots of trees that we saw before to arrive to Isla del Sol.
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Approaching the disembarking little harbour of Isla del Sol.
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First thing when disembarking was to queue and pay the entry to the island which was 5 bolivianos per person.
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Then we walked a bit up and found a hostel not too far with a great view. I could not really walk further that day. Here is the view we had from our room.
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We were both really tired as we had slept about 4h30 only the night before, and for me the stomach pain didn`t help. So we actually slept from 4pm to 8pm. Here was the last picture I took that day around 3.30pm, a boat leaving and making this pretty nice mark on the water.
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Around 8pm, we went for dinner to a restaurant located a few meters below our hostel. What was impressive was that from our window the view was pitch dark. None of the little hostels and restaurants or other buildings next to this harbour had any light. It was really quiet. I asked the man if he had any remedy for stomach pain and he gave me a mate de coca with some “mounia” herb added to it which gave it a slight minty taste. After dinner of a soup for me, and soup chicken and rice for Sam, we were back sleeping around 10.30pm.

Tomorrow, exploring a little bit Isla del Sol by foot!