Thursday, September 20, 2012

bolivia day four

we were up early- got to see the sun rise over Lake Titicaca...

our destination this day is the Island of the Sun where there are indications of ancient temple ruins... we head down to the water to find our luxury craft to ferry us all for the forty five minute journey to the island.  After arrival we will climb to the sacred spring (Pedro gives anyone who feels challenged by the 200+ steps to stop along the way and or turn back) From there we go to another island to see a temple ruin and then have lunch (locally made and very local menu) before returning to Copacabana to head back to the strait of Tiquina and back to the altiplano and back into town arriving around 6:30 if all goes as planned. 

here is the written itinerary from the company:

This morning, we cruise the historic waters of Lake Titicaca. The highest navigable lake on Earth, at 12,580 feet, Lake Titicaca covers more than 3,800 square miles. Beyond its clear water, many islands, and the Andes Mountains that rise behind it, the lake holds a cherished place in Inca and pre-Inca history. According to Andean legend, a pair of gods rose from the waters of Lake Titicaca to found the Inca empire, and the Indian people who live in the small settlements around the lake believe that the Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun) and Isla de la Luna (Island of the Moon) are the sites of this mythic moment of creation.

We’ll delve into this ancient history today, as our boat ride takes us to the Island of the Sun. This rocky landmass is the largest island in Lake Titicaca, and while it has no motor vehicles or paved roads, it is home to a number of indigenous families who dwell amidst its patchwork of ancient agricultural terraces. We’ll have a chance to meet some of the local people as we visit the hilltop village of Yumani—from which we’ll enjoy views of the Island of the Moon—and we’ll also discover one of the island’s many ruins: the archaeological site of Pilko Kaina, an ancient Inca palace.
We enjoy a boxed lunch during our explorations, then return to Copacabana by boat. This afternoon, we depart for La Paz, traveling overland and arriving in the city in time for dinner on your own.

so off we go- until the boat stalls repeatedly as we leave Copacabana LOL- I later learn from the Jacques Cousteau video on You Tube about Lake Titicaca that this is a common issue in the thin air of the Lake- not enough oxygen to keep the carburetor in working order... anyway we finally get things handled on that end and head out for a lovely morning ride on the boat.  we arrive at the Island of the Sun and start up the steps toward the spring- slowly slowly- and although I am the last to arrive we ALL make it to the top (something new for Pedro who has not had a group do this until now- what troopers!)

along the way we learn the local lore and when some decide to go on to the top of the island beyond the spring - others head back down to the shopping and rest rooms - LOL

from there we are off to the other island (Moon) and the temple ruins there - along with the lunch stop after fully exploring the two and a half rooms of the temple (seriously- not too much of an effort once you braved another set of steep steps!)

lunch was local - corn, sweet potatoes, chicken and fish along with local cheese.  Very nice - and served outside at tables with a fabulous view...of the lake!

after lunch we head back to the boat - back to Copacabana and back to the straits on the way back across the altiplano and through El Alto and into La Paz. 

so on to the photos:


our lunch included the largest kernels of corn ever seen!

on the way back to port we saw another reed boat- undoubtedly tourist related -

then onward toward "home"

this pig did not want to get on that boat and neither did the other two he was traveling with - LOL

as we were returning to town a storm came up- the first rain we have had while here and luckily it kept to the area outside of La Paz....

we make a shopping stop back at the boat guy's house for some of the group who want to buy something they couldn't decide on yesterday:

and here are some sights along the way into town:

an effigy to warn criminals that this community takes matters of crime into their own hands (not an uncommon sight or activity in the non urban areas.)

as we enter the city we make a stop at a view point overlooking the bowl of La Paz-

and just before we entered we encounter the ever present Che in statue form at an intersection near the turn off to the airport-

tomorrow on to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Tiwanaku- amazing pre-Inca civilization ruin....

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