May 24, 2009

'This is a f***ing nightmare...'*

Don't be fooled by the 'we're having such a great time' smiles on our faces, Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun) on lake Titicaca wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

Well, we didn't actually know what it was cracked up to be in the first place, that was the problem.

While it may be the original Copacabana, having the same name is where the similarities between this lakeside Bolivian town and the Rio suburb end. It's meant to be a 'must-see' on any Bolivian itinerary, but there are only two things to do in this town – eat overpriced tourist fare and visit Isla del Sol.

We didn't really know much about Isla del Sol, but since everyone else seemed to be doing it, we literally jumped on board and made the painfully-slow, two-hour journey to the island. What we were supposed to do there was anyone's guess...

Turns out there is only one thing to do on Isla del Sol, walk. Or should I say hike? The boat drops you off at one end, and gives you a mere three hours to make it the 12 kilometers to the other end. OK, the views are spectacular, and it was a half nice way to spend a day, but a bit of warning wouldn't have gone astray.

Having to fork out entry fees along various sections of the track only heightened our state of annoyance.

Tip to future travellers of Boliva: Skip the over-hyped Copacabana and spend more time somewhere cheaper and more entertaining, like La Paz.

*Quote courtesy of Craig 'Mr Positive' O'Shannessy