Getting into Bolivia was a bit of a struggle, with police and border official trying to extract money from us (remember here). Gian Marco had warned us that the police in Bolivia were more corrupt than Peru. So far he is right.
But once we got to Copacabana, we immediately fell in love with Bolivia! I can already tell that we’re gonna have a great time exploring this country. It has it’s own unique coolness, right down to the hundreds of yellow swan peddle boats lining the shore of Lake Titicaca.
Bizarre… ummm, yes. Super-Duper Cool… most definitely.
Our first order of business was figuring out connectivity. For the last year all we’ve heard is how much the internet sucks in Bolivia. It’s true. Now, I appreciate the emails and comments about how I should just “disconnect and relax”, but that’s just not realistic. Imagine if I came to your job in the middle of the day and said, “Hey, don’t worry about your work, just relax.” You might not have a job for long. Likewise, I’ve got to be connected, or there might be no more Sprinter Life.
The wifi at the hotel we’re staying at was a joke. Not usable (that’s why Stevie hasn’t been online much, in case her peeps were wondering). We had to figure something out. I ended up buying a SIM card from Tigo, the national phone company. I plugged this into our unlocked USB stick and dropped that into our travel router. Bingo, instant crappy wifi.
With this set up I’m able to work, barely. I can’t skype or chat, but I can get on email and access Outdoorplay.
We’re expecting the internet to get better in the bigger cities and towns, but with this set-up I can keep things rocking when we’re rural.
With this task accomplished, we really relaxed into our new hang. Our hotel room is bangin’. We have an amazing deck with a view of Lake Titicaca, perfect for happy hour.
We’ve already received several “funny” comments about the name, Lake Titicaca (all my friends, not Stevie’s… if that says anything). Alright, yes, it’s a funny name. It sounds like “TITS” and “CACA”. Ok. Let’s move on.
This place is actually legit. It is the largest lake in South America. It is the highest navigable lake in the world, with an elevation of 12,507 ft. According to Incan lore, the god Viracocha arose from Lake Titicaca to create the world. He commanded the sun (Inti…Sol’s name in Quechua), moon (Mama Kilya) and stars to rise, then went to Tiahuanaco to create the first human beings, Mallku Kapac and Mama Ocllo. These first humans, the “Inca Adam and Eve,” were formed from stone and brought to life by Viracocha, who commanded them to go out and populate the world. Thus Lake Titicaca is the birthplace of the Incas.
And did I mention, the sunsets are unreal.
(See the Sprinter’s rocket box in the lower right hand corner of photo?)
After a day of relaxing, we set off to explore the town. It’s a nice place. Small. It has everything you need. The place is composed of locals, and dreadlocked Argentinian backpackers. Not a bad mix.
Overall we like Copacabana, a lot. This will be a hard place to leave.
But leave we will. We have to keep moving. I know it seems like a long way out, but we have plane tickets to fly back to the USA on August 1st, leaving from Santiago, Chile. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover in that time.
We aren’t leaving before we explore the lake though. Tomorrow we’ll board the mighty “Titicaca,” and take a two hour boat ride to the Isla Del Sol, an Island in the middle of the lake that has many Inca ruins.
The timing couldn’t be better. Tomorrow is my birthday. What a cool way to bring in a new year.