Saturday, 23 February 2008

La Paz - Sorata - Copacabana

La Paz was a city that we both connected to well, its bustling busy streets, strange smells, crazy traffic and great shopping kept us very well entertained, and I for one, felt right at home, loving the feeling of being back in a 'city' environment. Mandi returned from her triumphant trip up the mountain, where she reached an altitude of 5,700 m before the weather intervened and forced them to turn back. Mandi's own story of the ascent, coming soon...

From La Paz we took a 'Micro Bus' for a 3 hour journey down from the dizzy heights of La Paz, into the stunning lush valleys of Sorata. Sorata is small, sleepy but stunning. The climate changed here, it was much warmer, we were back in Palm tree zone! Despite being the ideal place to use as a base for trekking, we used it for the other thing it is most famous for, plain, simple Chilling Out. It's the weekend retreat for many from La Paz, and was a perfect place for Mandi to recover from the Mountain episode, and for me to swan around gazing dreamily at the amazing scenery, sketch a little and eat alot. There were long lazy lunches with some lovely Canadians we met, and sun drenched hours of immersion in my Garcia Marquez novel. After the bustle and activity filled days of La Paz, this was perfect. There were some odd moments, like the 'Reggae Bar', playing Bob Marley constantly, full of every type of cliched hippie traveller you ever took the piss out of...I felt like shouting 'will you all just take a f***ing shower!!!!!!!' As we sat there drinking playing cards, a friggin nasty little rut of a monkey jumped at us out of the dark and stole stuff off our table, then helped himself to our beer! I never thought I would find myself saying to a barman 'There's a Monkey in my beer'... least of all in bad spanish!

We tired of beautiful chilled and a bit weird Sorata after 2 days, and made our way to where I am writing from now, the lovely Bolivian Copacabana, a small tourist town which serves as the gateway to the awe inspiring Lake Titicaca, and Isla de Sol, the island of the sun, revered as the legendary birthpace of the Inca Empire. The Lake is huge, and straddles both Bolivia and Peru.

Here's the beautiful lake

As I write this, we are waiting for the rain to subside so we can take a boat over to the Island of the Incas. It's such an amazingly historical place, you can see why the lake and the area was considered so sacred, it takes your breath away.
Stay tuned.

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