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Copacabana Travel Blog

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At the Titicaca lake

We chose to go to Copacabana because we heard that there was a large celebration for Easter there. Lake Titicaca and Copacabana in particular is a very religious place for Bolivians which meant that hoards of pilgrims make their way there by foot or bus. However, this meant that everyone on this side of Bolivia was trying to get to Copacabana on the same day we were. Luckily we found a reputable bus company to take us there. The road was extremely crowded and people were piled into minibuses (up to 15 people in 8 person vans) and sqeezed onto the back of pick up trucks. With no surprise, we actually saw three accidents.

Looking at Copacabana's bay
We crossed a straight on a boat that was one of 20 or so boats shuttling people and pilgrims as it was not allowed to cross the straight while still on our bus. Of course we had to pay to get accross the straight but surprisingly we caught back up with our bus; one passenger was not so lucky and he was left behind. It is hard to describe the chaos of this situation, but cheap, oily egg sandwhiches with fries alleviated the situation. We rode on to Copacabana with no more excitement.

To say that Copacabana was chock full of people would be an understatement. A small child attempted to steal Danilo´s walking stick and his bottle of water. We became a little depressed when we realized that there were no ATMs here and we were very low on cash.  We checked into a fancy (for Bolivian standards) hotel because it was the only one that accepted credit card.

And the Andes mountains that surround it and all of Bolivia
Luckily the next day we found a way around this problem without involving prostitution.

On the night of Good Friday, we ventured into the center of the town because we heard that there would be a procession of the Virgin. We were not disapointed. It is quite hard to explain this experience but it was huge and very solemn yet beautiful and somewhat creepy. First, they carried one virgin surrounded by candles out of the church which was also surroudned by people in white robes carrying candles. Next there was another virgin representing Mary weeping under the cross. This virgin was carried only by women and also surrounded by hundreds of people holding candles and chanting/signing religious songs and prayers. Finally, a huge marching band started playing very mournful music and a huge glass coffin with a very dead Jesus was carried out of the church. Flanking Jesus were 2 dozen men in pointy white hoods and white robes (yes, think KKK). These three figures were paraded around the square and joined in the back by the armed forces of Bolivia carrying large guns and marching in formation. To end this difficult description, imagine really loud mournful religious band music constantly playing.

On Saturday morning we decided it was time to head out of this overcrowded yet beautiful town and explore more of Lake Titicaca.

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At the Titicaca lake
At the Titicaca lake
Looking at Copacabanas bay
Looking at Copacabana's bay
And the Andes mountains that surro…
And the Andes mountains that surr…
The sanctuary at the top of Copaca…
The sanctuary at the top of Copac…
photo by: aliciaaa