July 14, 2010 – July 17, 2010
One third of our trip had just gone. A bit of a whorlwind really. May be we should have had more downtime. But this was difficult as reading the Loney Planet you got greedy of all the places you could see and wonder at . Our ideas of downtime was reading, writing a journel, or playing cards.Unfortuanately the kids felt this was IPOD,Ipad or the internet. I am sure it was us that was nieve. Harry was confident now and enjoyed looking arround the town by himself, meeting back at the hotel to discuss the unusual things that he had seen. Copacabana turned out to be a rather dusty concrete town on the waterside of a specutacuar and dramatic lake. The waterfront smelt of raw suage and had fifty large plastic pedal swans that we used by Bolvians from La Paz at weekends being their only "seaside." The back streets smelt of urine and the central tourist street shops sold the usuall western crisps,beer and toilet paper. Inbetween these grocery outlets locals sold alpacha jumpers and colourful rugs to piped ANdean music that could have been uplifted from Glastonbury high street. THe next day we took a two and a half hour boat trip to the North side of the "island del sol ." Here we would walk the length of the island and catch up with a boat 5 hours later to take us back to town. The Inca´s, in typical fashion of a dramatic setting, beleived that the first Inca king came to earth and that their revered Sun was created here. You could see how they got their inspiration on their creation theory which is still thought as fact by Cechua schools (35% of Peru´s population ). Far off snow capped volcanoes frammed the deep blue lake Titicaca, at times Agean blue. The sky almost purple in the altitude with wonderful cloud formations making the horizon go forever. As we walked down the isalnds spine, locals walked the opposite direction in their coloured shawls and Bolwer hats carrying a selection of brass wind instrutments. There was going to be some sort of festivile at the North tip. Unfortunately we had a boat to catch but a llama steak and chips waited for us back at our rather fun hotel.
Thur 15th July Time to go to the next country,Bolivia! For 300m we were in `no mans land´ so i could of killed everyone and i would not get charged for it... Muahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahaahhaahahha!
On Saturday Will and I wandered around the dusty little town and up to the tiny cathedral. We had noticed that many of the taxis and collectivos that morning were decorated with garlands of flowers, mainly bunches of gladioli but also some more elaborate arrangements with coloured ribbon and artificial flowers. Leading to the cathedral was a queue of decorated parked cars and many stalls selling flowers, decorations and firecrackers. As we arrived, the priest came out of the main gate wearing a friar´s habit and baseball cap and carrying a plastic bucket of holy water in one hand and a pink artificial rose in the other. There was an immediate clamour for his attention but he calmly and politely insisted on starting at the head of the queue. Each family gathered around the front of their car whilst the main driver lifted the bonnet to show the engine. The priest said a prayer in Spanish and the family joined in, then the priest dipped the flower head into the holy water and splashed it over the car engine, and all round the car. Will saw a driver lift up the passenger seat so that a well hidden car battery could be blessed. Then the driver and each family member were splashed with holywater. They finished the ceremony with an official photograph of the family with the priest in front of the car and then set off firecrackers to celebrate. We liked the look of the priest who seemed very genial and kind. We chatted to a family who had made the journey all the way from La Paz that day for the ceremony. They told us that in the prayer they promised to bring their car back every year to the Virgin of Copacabana for a blessing. Apparently the ceremony was cheaper than car insurance, but most people did both anyway just to be sure.
Great character with beautifully designed rooms with curved wood and assymmetric shapes. Good choice in generally grubby town.