Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

October 3, 2010

Isla del Sol

Filed under: South America — Tags: — admin @ 2:04 pm

Isla del Sol. Lake Titicaca.

The morning after I arrived at Copacabana, I went on a boat ride tour to Isla del Sol. The boat ride there and back costs 30 Bolivianos, which is about $5. There are two boat tour companies as far as I could tell, and there could have been more. The boat was about ten metres long, with an enclosed section with windows so you did not get wet from the spray. You could also sit up on top, but I did not because the wind was blowing and it would have been freezing. A few people came down from the top because it was too cold.

pns_0639
Isla del Sol

Anyway, we set off onto Lake Titicaca at a rather slow pace I thought. The boat had an outboard and I thought it was seriously under-powered. We approached the Isla del Sol and there were some great views of the island but not much bird or animal life. I was expecting much more wildlife than I saw. It was a bit of a disappointment in that regard. When we got to the north part of the island, we got this spiel from some tour guides that they would show some ceremonies and archeological sites and a crappy museum, all for the price of 30 Bolivianos. I was lead to believe that it was 15. I just escaped down the beach and took some photos of the birds and the pigs that were rooting around in the sand.

Then I went for a walk back towards the settlement and followed a track out to the point. There were a few pigs tethered to bushes and then further out, I ran into their rubbish tip. I was totally disgusted. They just throw their rubbish on the rocks and burn it.

Rubbish Tip
The Rubbish Tip at Isla del Sol

I went back to the wharf and waited for the boat to leave. We headed off and landed at the south end of the island, where we had to pay 5 Bolivianos just to walk onto the land. The whole set-up was a tourist rip-off. I was pretty cheezed off with the whole thing by that time. You could walk up the hill and see some temple but I did not bother. It was funny watching all the tourists get off the boats and then trudge up the hill with their very heavy bags. That part of the trip was amusing, but I would not bother recommeding to anyone that they waste their time going there. It was pretty crap.

The next day I headed off to Puno, where we changed buses. Puno, in Peru, has not much going for it except a couple of reserves on the shore on Lake Titicaca. They would be great places to look for birds, I think. We took the bus to Arequipa and at times we got as high as 4800 meters. The country was pretty barren, but we followed a little stream most of the way. Some of the lakes on the way had some Chilean Flamingos in them. I arrived in Arequipa about 7pm. and after a chaotic chase for a taxi, got to the hostel and slept the rest of the night. The next day I had diarrhoea and spent the whole day on the toilet. This morning I am feeling heaps better and will head for Pisco on the coast tonight.

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