It was sad leaving cusco, as i met some amazing people there and despite being ill, i loved the city and had a great time. But at least i wasnt travelling the buses alone, as me and Pocket (who worked at the hostel) were getting the same buses, which was useful as without her, i would have struggled to understand that we need to pay taxes at the bus station, and to find out that my seat had been double booked, a common problem apparently. and we had a 3 hour wait at 5am at the freezing puno bus station, after being told when booking that it was only an hour. and the bus we took had the biggest cracks in the windscreen. supersafe.
the border crossing was an interesting and unneccesarily long process. we had to get off and queue at the police station to have our passports checked and then queue at immigration to get stamped out of peru. there were like 3 coaches full so it took like an hour, and it was sooo boring, especially as we had been travelling all night. then we realised that pocket had overstayed her visa by 2 days so we had to find some dollars for the fee. then you have to walk over the border and get stamped into bolivia. they all seemed amused that i had a british passport. im not sure why. its annoying as the visa is only 30 days, i wanted to spend a while here as it is sooo incredibly cheap!!
then it was just a 10 min ride to copacabana where i got off and left pocket, as she is making her way to work in brazil. copacabana itself is pretty small and not much is going on really. its on lake titicaca, the largest navigable lake in the world. and you only go there to visit isla del sol (sun island) which is sacred for the inca time.
i got the boat over to the island the next morning (after sleeping 12 hours and paying like 1 pound for my room), and realised i was sitting next to cathi who i did the inca trail with. the gringo trail is very small!! i was feeling pretty bad that day, as i was so weak from not being able to eat from being ill. and the altitude doesnt help, we keep getting higher and higher! even though the inca trail was tough, i found the walk over the sun island harder as i was iller. i coughed so much i was nearly sick all over the sacred island. a walk that should have taken 3 hours, took me 5. just as well as i was planning to stay the night as i would have missed the last boat anyway. but i found a nice room and rested a lot. the island is really beautiful. deep blue seas with the snow topped mountains in the background. incredible. and at night, you can see sooo many stars as theres no light pollution, so rare in the uk!
the next day i left around midday to get the boat, not realising that theres only 2 from the south part and the next was in a few hours, so i just sunbathed on the island, as it was soo hot. in the afternoon, a large group of mainly english guys arrived on the island, beer in hand and one of them actually wearing an england shirt covered in tats. they literally got off the boat, bought more beers, played card drinking games and got back on the boat to copacabana the same time as me. i think they missed the point of visiting the island.
so imagine my delight when they got on the same bust as me in the evening for la paz, with a litre of vodka on a bus with no toilet. they also had they´re own music system. you can imagine what the next 4 hours was like. i could hear them over my ipod. funnily enough though, when the made the bus stop so they could all wee (and everyone else tried to make the bus driver leave them behind) one of the girls lost her shoe down a manhole. which was pretty funny and the rest of the bus loved that! really, if you´re going to do a drinking tour, just do it in spain. i dont wana hang around with english idiots.
and of course they were horribly drunk when we arrived in la paz around 9.30pm , which i thought was stupid as it leaves them more vulnerable, and bolivia has a high robbery rate. and they are in the same hostel. luckily, not the same room, that was my worry!
so anyways, now im in la paz, and i dont think theres much to do here but party! everyone loves to party here and im hoping that very soon ill be well enough to join in! i walked around the city yesterday with a couple of guys and the walk is a killer. so many steep roads and of course the altitude here is even worse than ever, but it doesnt feel too bad, maybe im finally getting used to it.
or of course theres the infamous san pedro prison. my best friend fran went and told me how scary it was! you have to bribe your way in, and its not that cheap, and you get shown around all the cells with the prisoners. but your bodyguards are murderers, so im not sure theres much comfort in that. and families live in there as they cant support themselves if the husband is inside. i also here that there are parts where people fights so theres blood on the walls and teeth on the floor. its also a place to buy drugs, should you want to. although it seems ridiculous to buy drugs inside a prison, as your already inside! and you have to bribe your way out. i think if you go in a big group its safe, but ive heard stories of people being robbed and raped inside, as its all so corrupt and poor. so maybe not for me!
anyways, im obviously still alive, for those that heard about the plane crash at the nasca lines, i have already done it, so no worries there. although im not surprised that it crashed, they´re a bit dodge.
muchos love xxx