Isla del Sol. Lake Titicaca.

Isla del Sol is truly stunning.  It’s also at 4,000m above sea level and hilly which even when you’re taking drugs for altitude sickness and have been at over 2,000m for a week becomes somewhat of a challenge.  However let me rewind.

After checking out of the pretty outstanding La Cupula Hostel as I wrote about in my previous report, we wandered down to the port to jump on one of the tourist boats over to Isla del Sol.

The journey takes about ninety minutes and you’re dropped off at the port at Yumani.  From there, I’d booked to stay at the Palla Khasa Ecological Hotel.  On Google Maps, it looked about a 1.5km walk away – no problem, or so we thought.

Actually, big problem.  We hadn’t counted on the altitude and the fact it was a lot of uphill.  Lots and lots of uphill, with steps and cobbled pavements.  What should have taken no more than twenty minutes took the best part of an hour and a half.  We were able to walk perhaps no more than 100m at a time before having to stop for breath.

However the walk was truly incredible.  The picture below was the view to the west, looking out over towards Peru.

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View from Isla del Sol, Lake Titicaca towards Peru

My friend J-P managed to find a friendly local to help carry his bags (for 50Bs), however I valiantly struggled on with mine, making it all the way to the hotel.

We’d originally booked a regular room, however were rather disappointed to find a rather musty smell when we entered it.  Going back to reception and making clear our dissatisfaction, we agreed a small supplement to stay in one of the larger, round huts with views out to the west.  This was somewhat annoying, but did work out well in the end.

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Panorama from Isla del Sol, Lake Titicaca in Bolivia

The panorama shows the view we had.

Isla del Sol is pretty basic.  All of the accommodation options on the island are essentially hostels, but our eventual room was clean and well kept with running water and a toilet. There are a couple of hamlets on the island with a few restaurants where you can get food.  We had a very enjoyable meal for around 40Bs (around £4.50).

After dinner we headed back to the room, and being completely shattered from the walk up, decided to turn in.  That evening there was one of the most amazing lighting storms that I’ve seen.  Leaving the curtains open we watched nature do its thing from the comfort of bed.

The next morning we awoke, and headed back to the port at Yumani to get a boat back to the mainland and then a car onwards to La Paz.  We’d arranged a private transfer for the entire journey so we didn’t get into La Paz too late so that we’d have enough time to wander round the city.

The journey took about four hours in all, complete with one of the scariest drives along the highway towards La Paz with our driver doing a good impression of Jensen Button.

We eventually got there mid-afternoon and will cover our adventures in La Paz in the next instalment of this blog.

 

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