Friday, August 8, 2008

A land of plenty

From La Paz we set out on, yes, another bus journey, this time to Copacabana. This one was short enough to travel during the day instead of overnight. Natalie passed out right away, but I was too excited to sleep. I just couldn’t take my eyes off the scenery rolling past us. It was late afternoon, and the sun turned the wide fields the color of burned honey. The fields probably would have stretched on forever if they hadn’t been corralled unwillingly by towering, blue mountains whose jagged teeth clawed at the sky, anxious to reach deeper and deeper into the powder blue cap to the world. Craning my neck upwards, I wished I could be on top of the mountains at that moment. I am addicted to the sky here; I just can’t get enough of it. It almost seems oversaturated, too blue, and I can’t help thinking that if I keep reaching out to it and turning my face towards the heavens, those extra drops of saturation might be squeezed out and fall down over me, illuminating me in a blueberry halo.

We’d been riding for a few hours when we finally stopped at a lake. “Great, we’re there!” I thought. Turns out we were just taking a ferry. The bus driver drove the bus onto a very shaky looking, barge-like contraption, and the rest of us squeezed into small skiffs. We ferried across the lake, got out (completely dry and intact) on the other side, and drove for a little ways more to Copacabana. Copacabana is a cute little tourist trap on the edge of Lake Titicaca (haha, yes, let’s all be culturally insensitive and laugh at the funny name). We had heard the lake was famous for fresh trout, and we were not disappointed that night. Nat, a brood of Irishmen and I dined on the first seafood I’d had in months. Nat and I could barely chew, we were so tired, and after our delicious meal we headed straight to bed.

The next morning after some frantic travel itinerary-revising, we caught a boat to Isla del Sol. The island was beautiful, and after our very brisk (read: frigid) 1.5 hour ferry ride to get there, we were anxious to scramble up the terraces and run around the pre-Incan ruins. The ferry back to Copacabana was late (of course), so we just had time to grab some snacks before catching our 6:00 PM bus to Cuzco, PERU!

After changing buses twice and crossing one border, we found ourselves in Cuzco. The bus was supposed to get there around 7:00 AM, but it was only 4:30 when we rolled in. For some reason, we had an inordinate amount of energy, and headed off to a highly-recommended hostel, which thankfully had just enough beds available for Nat, our two Irish friends, and me. Sleep took awhile to come, but the comfy beds eventually encouraged our adrenaline to simmer down, and we set off to the land of nod.