Thursday, April 21, 2011

Undecided on Isla del Sol

From Copacabana we made the obligatory trip to Isla del Sol. We agonized over our itinerary and finally decided to stay over one night on the north (less touristic) end of the end and walk to the south end of the island the second day before catching the boat back.

The north end of the island was very scenic, where the island is shaped like an amoeba. The views from hilltops are amazing. But the tourist infrastructure is very limited in the north. We were lucky to find a clean, and cozy room, probably the nicest in the the village, but not much a view, while a 2-liter bottle of water cost 10% of the room. Not all the restaurants were open; only two were ready to serve gringo-priced food, one of which was not always open. There were several overpriced sandwich stands. The south had a lot more options.

While we enjoyed hiking around the island, we were turned off by the road tolls. It was complicated too, 10-5-5 north to south, but 10-15 from south to north. On our walk we even ran into a guy trying to overcharge us on the road toll, as well as two kids who asked for candy.

Would we come back to spend more time on the island? While the landscape is very alluring, I am unsure about the Aymara people on the island. They seem to be only interested in making easy money on tolls, water, and sandwiches, instead of providing real hospitality. The south is more developed and seemed different. But the core of the people should be the same? or should they change? how much?

South End of Isla del Sol with a view up Lake Titicaca .
Isla del Sol, Bolivia

Challapampa Village on the North End of Isla del Sol. We spent a night here.
Challapampa Village - Isla del Sol, Bolivia

Sun-Ling walking south on the ridge trail of Isla del Sol at almost 14000 ft above sea level.
Isla del Sol, Bolivia

One of the many beaches on the North End of Isla del Sol.
Isla del Sol, Bolivia

Just after sunset on Isla del Sol.
Sunset - Isla del Sol, Bolivia

1 comment:

ModifiedDog said...

This is crash Eddy,looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks, assuming I have recovered.

Pictures are beautiful.

-Stuart Downing c/o Crash Eddy