So Peaceful

Copacabana Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 3 › view all entries
Could this room be any smaller? I could reach both walls at the same time!!!!

After a long bus ride I was exhausted and easily found a hostal to park in for a day. The lady running the hostal was absolutely beautiful, with a smile that lit up the entire building. She offered a room in the main area, but I wanted something on the upper level so that I could have a view of Lake Titicaca and the city.

First of all, that room was SMALL! I could easily reach across the room and touch both walls at the same time. It was perfect. The pinkest, pepto-bismal pink I have ever seen and cold, cold, cold! I absolutely loved it. No showers at the hostal, but that wasn't important.

Next, I saw the clear difference between La Paz and Copacabana as far as poverty.

The view of Copacabana from my hostal room...what a view
This town was definitely no wealthy by any means, however, it seems the further from La Paz I get, the better the housing and the better the living conditions. Don't get me wrong. These wonderful people are poor in comparison to most standards, however, as you can see from the photos, there are housing structures in the town, color and a little less filth than in La Paz. I noticed on the ride from La Paz to Copacabana that every mile showed a little better home and hearth.

I decided rest for about an hour before hitting the town, as I was exhausted from my bus ride. I left the door open a bit to keep from feeling too closed in and the sounds had me grinning. The lady of the house had a little boy, about 1 1/2 or so. Mama was doing laundry on the roof next to my room...a wash bucket, wash board, etc.

Road leading to the lake
Despite the fact the water was like ice, her little boy was having so much fun splashing with mama and playing on the roof that all I heard for an hour was splashing and laughing. Unlike the America child that age, this little boy didn't need cars or tv or toys to entertain himself. When I got up and looked out, he was entertaining himself with a plastic pop bottle, the wash water and his imagination.

The next sound I heard was a huge splash, and intake of breath and a squeal. Mama had dumped her little boy in an icy bucket of bath water for his bath! After he got his breath back, he was back to laughing and splashing. I think his mama got more water on her than he did, but it was just laughing and hugging! See them together really made me appreciate how the South American society really honors the family unit and how they take pleasure in the smallest bits of the day.

Statue at the San Francisco Church

After my rest, I headed towards the beach. The main street towards the lake is relatively quiet with only the occassional taxi taking tourists up and down the hill.

I stopped at a little restaurant for my lunch. The outside garden at the entry way was quiet and the day was sunny and beautiful, so I sat at a lopsided table to soak in the beauty. Looking at the prices I had no idea what was to come. I ordered the stuffed trout and a beer. Let me just say that this stuffed trout, in America, would cost me close to $100US, easily. Presentation was beautiful, but the taste was beyond comparison! The trout had been deboned (how the hell do you debone a TROUT?) and pan fried lightly. When I opened the belly it was stuffed with peppers and mushrooms and cheeses and garlic. It was the most amazing fish I had ever had in my entire life.

Entryway into San Francisco Church
So for very little money, in the perfect atmosphere, I had the most amazing meal ever. My only complaint is that at such a high elevation, the moment beer or pop touch your tongue, they seem to explode into foam. I usually drink beer fairly fast, but it was foaming so much in my mouth I could barely sip it! Ugh! It was actually funny. I forgot how much it would foam...took a big swig, then choked as beer foamed out my nose for the next 45 seconds! Glad nobody else was at the restaurant.

The main church plaza, like every other town in Bolivia and Peru, was beautiful. I never fathomed architecture like this in a South American country. When you first see the church you think of Southern Spain and the middle east. The domes and mosaic tiles and structures just don't seem to fit. Everything was starting to fit together now.

San Francisco Church (does every town have a San Francisco Church???)
I was shocked when I found out the common "goodbye" in Bolivia was "Ciao" which is definitely Italian. Now, I'm finding architecture more like we picture in Spain and the East...So many have come to pillage and invade that it has definitely left its mark on the overall culture and language throughout Bolivia and Peru. Anyway, the church was amazingly beautiful outside, but since there were people in the church I didn't go in. I didn't want to interrupt anything.

Walking down to Lake Titicaca was easy (finally someplace to go that was DOWN hill) and still relatively quiet. On the beach there are multiple cafes where you can find backpackers, high-end tourists and those in the middle (like me), sitting at a table, sipping coffee and just watching the lake. Yes, it is just a lake, yet it radiates peace and quiet.

You just want to sit all day and soak it in. Actually, that's nearly what I did.

So my overall impression of Copacabana...quiet, NOT wealthy, friendly and peaceful. What more can you ask of in a place like this? One day and one night was enough for me, as activity is limited if you aren't taking a boat out to the islands and I just didn't want to do that this trip. Maybe next time?

So, onward to stop is Puno.


Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Crosses on the mountain by the lake. Couldn't do it with my knee, but it was still gorgeous

Moving from Bolivia to Peru is simple...right? Well, not for all. I had read stories about people who were arrested and had to pay the local police to get out. Things like that.

We arrived on the bus at the Bolivia border where we were asked to disembark and go through customs. While we did customs, the bus moved through the border, through  no-mans-land, and on to Peru. While in the line, a friend I had met up with was talking with me. We just had a feeling. When he handed his passport to the policia at the door, they gathered around him and pulled him to the side. About now, I was getting a bit nervous. Do we all get the dirty-pat-down?

I continued with the line and easily went through, got my passport stamped and moved towards the door.

Bolivia border between Copacabana and Puno, Peru
My friend told me to get on the bus and he'd be okay. This really made me nervous, not for me, but him. So, I watched through the window as best I could. They were interrogating him and I could tell by the red face he was getting pissed. Probably not the best option when surrounded by four policia in a third world country.

I continued to watch and saw him dig out his wallet. At first, 20 Bolivianos. I see the guard shake his head no and keep pointing at the passport. Then I see another 20 Bolivianos...more head shaking. Eighty Bolivianos later, my friend is released and had to run to catch the bus to continue to Puno. The policia told him that he had been in Bolivia too long, so had to pay a fee for the extra time. He actually had arrived only a few hours before I had and they never quesitoned me. :) So, while he is spitting and fuming, I pointed out that these 80 Bolivianos were only equivalent to $10US and could feed a family for 6 months. Yes, the principal of the matter is extortion, however, it really wasn't worth getting upset about.

So, on we headed to Puno, but this does make me a little more ready for the future. When I am traveling in any country, I need to remember that I am at the mercy of their judicial system and when push comes to shove....I will shut up, do what they ask and move on.


Could this room be any smaller? I …
Could this room be any smaller? I…
The view of Copacabana from my hos…
The view of Copacabana from my ho…
Road leading to the lake
Road leading to the lake
Statue at the San Francisco Church
Statue at the San Francisco Church
Entryway into San Francisco Church
Entryway into San Francisco Church
San Francisco Church (does every t…
San Francisco Church (does every …
Crosses on the mountain by the lak…
Crosses on the mountain by the la…
Bolivia border between Copacabana …
Bolivia border between Copacabana…
Another of the courtyard in front …
Another of the courtyard in front…
Plaza across from the church
Plaza across from the church
Checkpoint on the way to Copacabana
Checkpoint on the way to Copacabana
Beach on Lake Titicaca - Copacabana
Beach on Lake Titicaca - Copacabana
2,070 km (1,286 miles) traveled
Sponsored Links
photo by: aliciaaa