The other Copacabana
Copacabana Travel Blog› entry 102 of 123 › view all entries
We booked ourselves on the Litoral overnight bus (S.70/£16/$23) which we had been promised was a luxury full cama service. We got to the bus station in plenty of time for the 10pm departure. There was some bizarre changing of tickets by some drunk guy at the Litoral counter and by the time we'd passed through the departure gate it was clear that we had been stitched up. Rather than being on some luxury double-decker cama service, Katie and I were local-yokel basic service bus....oh christ! I was so pissed off when we left, but eventually we just had to laaugh about it. It did leave a bitter taste in my mouth in regards to Peru - there are lots of dishonest people here who constantly want to rip tourists off - unfortunately its a typical short term view here.
Our 'direct' service turned out not to be quite so direct - oh, what a surprise! Note to others going this way from Cuzco to Copacabana - if you are told you will get a direct bus, you won't, its actually impossible as no vehicles can cross the border at Copacabana. We got as far at Yungay and at about 6am in the morning were prompty escorted off our bus (which carried onto La Paz) onto a tinpot Toyota van crammed with locals. Our fixer, 'Jesus' ensured that we did actually get the border, which was small relief.
We decided to go an meet Abby & Stan who'd got here the day before, and we assembled as a group - me, Katie, Abby, Stan, Angus, Peter, Becs and Leo. We decided to head straight over to Isla del Sol that day (boat Bs10/£1/$1.60) on the 1.30pm crossing. The greeting at Isla del Sol was one of demands for money - welcome to our island!! We had barely got off the boat when some woman was demanding an 'entry fee' to get on the island - it was only Bs5 (50p), but it still narked us all in the way they went about it.
The following day we embarked on the hike through Isla del Sol. after the travails of the Inca Trail, it was a nice relaxing walk, although climbing any kind of incline at 4000m+ literally takes your breath away! It took about 3 hours or so to get the north end (passing through another 'checkpoint' with locals actually running to collect money of us.