After spending six whole days in La Paz, Karin getting better and visiting the ruins of Tiwanaku we went to Lake Titicaca. With 13 times the size of Lake Constance, it is the largest lake in South America and lies at 3,810 meters above sea level. Bolivia has a 40% share and the remaining 60% belongs to Peru.
Even the journey is spectacular. To get from La Paz to Copacabana – the starting point for lake excursions in the Bolivian part – you have to drive the vehicle onto small, old barques with large wooden planks, which are equipped with a medium outboard motor. Does not look very trustworthy at first, but the captain of our barque assures that he can transport up to 50 tons. So there is still some room left for our 18-tonne weight. After we have crossed over, as on command, the clouds break and we drive on a scenic dream road with lake and mountain views to Copacabana, where we move our pitch directly on the back and quieter part of the beach promenade.
The next day we undertake a full-day boat trip first to the Isla de la Luna and then to the Isla del Sol. Both islands are considered the nucleus of the Inca empire, but the ruins and temples there can be attributed to the much earlier Tiwanaku period. For us more impressive are the scenic beauty of the islands with stunning views of the lake and the surrounding, snow-capped mountains 6,000 high as well as the original way of life of the inhabitants. We conclude this eventful day with a delicious sundowner at our pitch.
The next day we leave Bolivia and pass the nearby border to Peru. None of the prejudices existing under Overlanders, w/r to Bolivia such as corrupt police, difficult fuel supply for foreigners or problematic security situation we can confirm.
Our first destination is Puno, the starting point for a visit to the Peruvian part of the Lake Titicaca, with the floating reed islands of the Ururus and other very traditional lifestyles, such as the island of Taquile, where you will find many old hat-knit men and wool spinning women encountered and impressed by their scenic beauty. The costumes are colorful and shrill, the women wear great wide skirts and overall, the people live on these islands intensively their tradition, which we like a lot. Again, the weather is nice: in spite of heavy rain at night, it soon clears up in the morning and we spend another dream day on Lake Titicaca.