February 26th, 2008 – by: sissanoel
Our bus on the ferry across Lake Titicaca.
Another long travel day today. Left for the bus station at 7am and everyone was ready to go on time!! Drove for about 2 hours to the border with Bolivia, where we went through the police check-point and immigration. Those who´d lost their Peruvian entry card had to pay a US$5 fine, so glad we´d kept a hold of ours. The sole US citizen in our group also had to pay a US$100 entry fee into Bolivia, due to some disagreement between the relative governments. Luckily the Australian government must have kept out of it! Just before we arrived in Copacabana
, the bus conductor came around to collect a S-1 ¨tax¨off each of us. As this was never mentioned at immigration, we suspect this was actually a ¨bus conductor tax¨and would probably pay for his lunch.
View of La Paz.
Speaking of which, we had lunch at the restaurant next to the bus station. Food is not a highlight in bolivia, we are told, and we can say that this restaurant did not try to debunk that theory! Those people who had cheeseburgers were extremely unwell for the next 24 hours, so don´t know what they´d been doing with the dairy products! After an hour or so on a pretty basic bus, we had to cross part of Lake Titicaca
on a ferry, and then continue on the other side to La Paz
. We passed through simple settlements and large expanses of altiplano being cultivated by more ladies in their colourful clothes and bowler hats, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Very scenic. We certainly knew when we´d arrived in La Paz - the traffic is chaotic and there are people everywhere. It´s quite a shock to the system after the generally smaller cities wéve been spending time in. Our hotel seems to be in a fairly dodgy area, but our new guide said it´s generally OK. Went out to dinner with the group across town to a restaurant called Mongos. It is apparently where the ïn¨Bolivians go, but the prices were good and the food delicious, way too much though. The food was basically Mexican, reinforcing that there does not seem to be a specific Bolivian cuisine.