Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mixed Copacabana

Copacabana is a tourist town on the shore of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world at 3821 meters.

There are lots of hotels, none that friendly. There are lots of restaurants, none that tasty. We could not quite decide whether tourists outnumber locals or the other ways around. As scenic as the lake was, what made Copacabana authentic for us was the activities generated by the Cathedral.

The Cathedral itself is a very impressive Moorish complex. What makes it special is the fact that it houses the powerful and popular patron saint of Bolivia, Our Lady of Copacabana. We read that on weekends that cars line up to be blessed. Nevertheless I was surprised to see, on a Wednesday afternoon, a family came all the way from Cochabamba, a whole day's drive away, to have their truck blessed. Such faith never fails to amaze me!

Then on the Friday evening before Palm Sunday, we noticed a man carrying a cross going by outside of our restaurant. By the time we finished dinner, the streets were being transformed into mosaics of flower petals. We were told there was to be a procession. When the procession started, we realized that it was a reenactment of the 14 Stations of the Cross. What I had failed to report earlier was that many a time when we walked to a mirador, it was following the path of 14 stations of the cross. Now a live version!

Looking back at Copacabana from across the bay.
View to - Copacabana, Bolivia

Sunset on Lake Titicaca as seen from our hotel room balcony.
Sunset - Copacabana, Bolivia

The family from Cochabamba and their truck just after the Blessing of the Vehicles ceremony.
Blessing of the Vehicles - Copacabana, Bolivia

The Cathedral with another vehicle-to-be-blessed in front.
Blessing of the Vehicles - Copacabana, Bolivia

A mosaic of flowers is created for each of the 14 Stations of the Cross.
Easter Procession - Copacabana, Bolivia

The procession is lead by the parish priest.

Easter Procession - Copacabana, Bolivia

The 3rd Station of the Cross - Jesus falls for the first time.
The 3rd Station of the Cross - Copacabana, Bolivia

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