Sunday, October 4, 2009

Copacabana Pt. 1

As some of you know, a few weekends ago I had the pleasure of spending a 3-day weekend at the beautiful Lake Titicaca, which borders both Bolivia and Peru. I celebrated the Bolivian holiday "Amistad (Friendship) Day" with 6 other teachers from Highlands at a lake house! A friend of a friend offered his place of us to enjoy, but we had hoped to venture from the house to explore the tourist-trap, Copacabana, and the island where, according to Incan mythology, life itself was born, Isla del Sol. However, partly due to the fact that we are STILL in the process of getting our 2-yr visas and didn't have our passports with us, and partly due to the fact that we were one HUGE vehicle filled with American gringos, we didn't reach either destination.

Therefore, this weekend we decided to try it again.. this time ready for what the Bolivian police would throw at us (passport copies in hand and a group of 3 instead of 7)! What we were NOT prepared for, was what Bolivia itself would throw at us!

Getting there Saturday morning on a massive tourist bus was actually pretty uneventful, except for the tire that exploded en route! But, after a quick 30 minute stop at Bolivia's version of a rest-stop...nature's bathrooms, picnic areas, petting zoos and a dog pound all on a 20 yd by 20 yd grassy patch of land along the side of the road...we were on our way! Upon arrival at the legndary Copacabana, we dropped our backpacks off at a delightful hostal complete with hammocks stratigically placed to enjoy the breathtaking views of the water, and hit the town! After living in Bolivia for more than 3 months but not having a lot of time to be a "tourist" persay, it was quite enjoyable to peruse the wares of the many vendors that lined the streets and just enjoy being a foreigner. Then that evening we were able to enjoy an unexpected dinner with a friend from La Paz and some of her friends who were also in town for the night!

So, Saturday...awesome! Sunday....awesome in a totally different way! Let me expound and then I will post pictures of our weekends at the lake in a "coming soon" post!

What "should have happened" and what "actually happened" Sunday, October 4th. Enjoy! I know I did:)...

10:30 am
Should have happened:
the boat drops us off at the side of the island with various shops, restaurants and ruins to explore
Actually happened: the boat drops us off at the side of the island with basically nothing

12:00 pm
Should have happened:
we are close to the ruins after hiking for what feels like an hour
Actually happened: we have to turn around after seeing no ruins because we don't want to miss the "early boat" that leaves the north side of the island at 1:30

2:30 pm Should have happened: the boat quickly stops at the south side of the island and then continues on to Copacabana
Actually happened: the boat docks for an hour while we sit on the boat and watch some crazy donkeys

3:30 pm
Should have happened:
arrive back in Copacabana, grab our backpacks at the hostal and catch a bus heading back to La Paz
Actually happened: leave the south side of the island with a whole boat, full of people

4:30 pm
Should have happened:
driving on a bus that's about 1/2 way there to La Paz
Actually happened: dock at a floating reed island, surprising all of the tired passengers

5:30 pm
Should have happened:
arrive in La Paz
Actually happened: arrive in Copacabana

6:00 pm
Should have happened:
relax back at the house with a light dinner and start cleaning up the house after a long week/weekend
Actually happened: leave Copacabana in another large, tourist bus

7:00 pm
Should have happened:
at Wallyball (volleyball played in raquet-ball courts) with other friends in La Paz
Actually happened: in a ferry full of drunk cholitas and their husbands wondering if the bus will leave us

8:45 pm
Should have happened:
back from Wallyball and ready to grade a few papers before going to bed
Actually happened: on the bus that is showing, on 1 miniscule TV about 20 rows up, the Spanish version of Ice Age II...hilarious

9:30 pm
Should have happened:
ending our evening by watching an episode of House with my roommate
Actually happened: the bus runs out of gas at the very outskirts of town (El Alto)

10:15 pm
Should have happened:
go to bed
Actually happened: arriving home AT LAST after a taxi ride where "Hotel California" was the music of choice


  1. OK, the "crazy donkeys" put me over the edge. This story sounds very much like stories I've heard the Misers tell...

  2. oh, good, you're back. safe and sound. this is something i never cease to thank God for - delivering you home in one piece.

    and i would love it if you would email me back BEFORE you grade that stack of papers you should've graded at 8:45pm October 4.

    your friend that is missing you
    (move HERE)

  3. oh i love this post, too.
    and our God is good, for meggie always gets home eventually.
    your other friend that is missing you
    (move BACK here.)

  4. ... at least "hotel California" is a good song.
    I love how this stuff always happens to us. Maybe we should call ourselves the Talbots, and our luck will be better!
    Love you my dear, dear sister