After the hustle and bustle of La Paz, we decided to take a detour via Copacabana (not that one) and Isla del Sol before heading up to Peru. We´d passed through Copacabana on our way down to Bolivia and liked the laid back hippy feel, but we´d heard even better things about Isla del Sol, so decided to stay there.
Isla del Sol is an island on Lake Titicaca – which Incan mythology believes was the birthplace of the sun – and it looked like the perfect venue to kick back and relax before our Inca Trail adventures. However, before we could do any relaxing, we had to climb up the Inca stairway which connects the port to the main town, Yumani. Climbing over 200m with 205 steep steps, we were ready to collapse by the time we eventually picked a place to stay. Even the donkeys looked knackered. However, watching the sun set that evening from our high viewpoint with a beer in hand, it was well worth it.
We had one full day on the island, and so Paul and I, being a bit thick, thought ´what better place to sunbathe than on the island of the sun, this ridiculously hot island at over 4000m´. So we promptly found a beach and after about an hour realised that we were absolutely frying, and our 20 factor sunscreen was doing nothing. Safe to say we were in no state to do much else after this, and were ready to return to the mainland (and clouds) the next day.
I´m aware that pretty much every blog I write includes a section on some sort of bus adventure, but interesting things do seem to happen, so here´s another. We booked an overnight bus from Copacabana to Cusco. As we crossed the border into Peru it felt like a storm was coming, and sure enough, as the bus went up to Puno and beyond, it was soon dodging massive rocks and stones in the road. When we reached Puno, the rocks and stones were joined by fires burning in the streets, which felt a little odd, but we didn´t think much more of it. However, after asking around in Cusco, it turns out that this was all part of a strike taking place. It seems that the strategy is to cause as much disruption as possible, which probably would have worked had our bus driver not been so skilled at driving off road. Bizarrely, on this occasion, our bus even arrived one hour early, though this wasn´t much use to us as we sat on the street at 5 in the morning waiting for our hostel to open. We now had 2 days in Cusco to acclimatise before setting off on the Inca Trail.