Isla Del Sol, Lake Titicaca

Alrighty, so today we were going to make our way to leaving Bolivia and head to Peru, with a stop at lake Titicaca on the way. We had chosen a company called Bolivia Hop (also paired with Peru hop) to take us over the border and to a number of stops along the way, ultimately ending in Lima, Peru. They turned out to be very good and we highly recommend them.

We were heading to a town called Copacabana on the edge of lake Titicaca. This town is one of those jump point towns, where there isn’t too much to see in the town itself, but it is more of a change hub for going to other places or carrying on your journey. In the past few months Bolivia had some problems with blockades on the roads, as the public were protesting for better roads from the government. Some of the roads they protest on are the main routes between places, with alternative routes quite far out. We had one of these protests as we passed through El Alto on the outskirts of La Paz. Thankfully there was an alternative that wasn’t too far out for us to get through, and we made it to Copacabana in good time. The bus dropped us by the lake and the place we were staying was helpfully up a very steep hill; not ideal at 3800m with 25kg in bags on your back…

Checked in and sorted, we headed down to the town for some trout from the trout ladies, which was actually a man. Kumu had found out about these trout ladies on the web somewhere, and I genuinely thought it was a restaurant called trout ladies, but it literally meant the ladies down by the lake that serve trout. There were loads of them and their little makeshift restaurants, all eager to show us the raw fish under a cloth that they were carrying around. I’ll be honest, the fish they kept flashing didn’t look the best, but that might be the fact they had been flashing it at people from under a cloth all day…

A cooked one, and it actually tasted really good

Trout ladies met, it was over to one of the bars for some WiFi and happy hour drinks. It was here that I found out I had maybe misunderstood where we actually were… For some reason I had it in my head that we were in Cochabamba, Bolivia. I think it was because we had talked about it in our planning but decided not to go or something. Plus they both sound pretty similar. Whatever it was it had stuck in my head. Anyway, a bet was placed as to where we actually were, with the loser buying the next round (out of the joint account….). I, as usual lost the bet on the memory / travel test, so drinks were on us.. I mean me.

Later that evening we went up the other hill to a restaurant that had llamas in the front garden. It had a good view of the bay, ok food and a view of the Llamas before they were put to bed for the night. Kumu had a funny stomach when we got back, and it was most likely because of the altitude; it makes you feel all sorts of weird!

isla del sol llama garden

Next day we grabbed some breakfast, re-packed our day bags bags so we could head to Isla del sol on the 1.30 boat. We left our big packs in the hotel for a few nights. While we were having a coffee, we bumped into Caroline and Frank, the couple doing Spanish lessons with us, who told us the north side of the island was still closed. Kumu read this in a blog from May 2017 but didn’t realise it would still be closed a year later. It meant we wouldn’t be able to do some of the walks we wanted to do, but there was still plenty to do on the south part of the island

Across lake Titicaca from the boat over to Isla Del Sol

We jumped on the boat, and we were sat on the roof with a lot of other people! The boat ride to the island was about an hour and a half, and when we got there the climb to our hostel was hard but it was worth it. It was a full on set of steps then a winding path up the side of the hill. When we go to the hostel, we paid an extra few dollars for a better room, and damn the view was good!

After a quick sit down we headed out to a sunset spot where we had to walk through a eucalyptus forest to get there. Love that smell! Is like being in a washing powder advert.

Sophisticated thining moment
I also managed to catch this little guy before the sun went down

After watching the sunset we ordered our food and had a nice candlelit dinner. Candles was literally all this place had for lights, it was actually pretty dark in there. It was a restaurant run by a guy and his wife. Proper rustic stuff! Give it to them, the place was good but drinks are really expensive and the wait for our food was 2 hours!

When we left it was pitch black out, and we could see all the stars. We could have sat and looked a them for ages, but it was pretty chilly. With that, we put on our trendy head torches and headed back to our room. We both thought this was the best place we had stayed so far.

We woke up to watch the sunrise from our room before having a really nice breakfast. We then headed out to the sun temple ruins. The walk was stunning but the ruins were pretty average to look at. We just needed to know more of the history behind it, and I think it would have been far more enjoyable.

This was probably the most interesting angle there…

We thought we could walk around the island to get back to the other side but all that happened is I lead Kumu up a very steep hillside on the edge of the island, so we turned back and walked towards our hostel for some lunch. After lunch we headed back to our hostel for a  rest. It takes a lot of puff walking about on hills around the highest lake in the world….

Later we walked up to a mirador to watch the sunset where we reached 4500 metres! Kumu finally got a chance to wear her alpaca sweater (see evidence below). Was a lovely spot up here, and we actually realised this is where we first saw two girls that we ended up being on the Machu Picchu trip with! That top left photo is a favorite of mine.

All in all it was a great couple of days, with a cracker of a view from every side. The place actually feels like you’re by the sea it is so big (well it did used to be a sea, but that’s not the point…). Next we take a trip to the floating islands on lake Titicaca.



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