On the shores of Lake Titicaca
Copacabana Travel Blog› entry 6 of 24 › view all entries
Let me preface this with the following...
Over the next three days I have a three part trip from La Paz, Bolivia to Copacabana, Bolivia (3 hours) and Copacabana to Puno, Peru (3 hours) and finally onto Cuzco Peru (7 hours). This is by far the most dangerous and risky part of my trip. Corruption of drivers and police are well-known in this area. You really can´t trust anybody. The roads are also notorious difficult because of pot-holes, strikes and bad cars. Luckily this is dry season and risk of bad weather is low. At the same time, I need to make every single of these three legs or I will miss my four day hike on the Inca Trail.
I left my comfy hotel room from La Paz this morning in the rain (during dry season). I had talked to the door man the day before about my trip plans and he promised to help make sure I got there this morning. When I talked to him this morning he said I should go to the main bus station eventhough they had less busses to Copacabana. He said that the other station know as ´El Cemetario´ was too dangerous. He put me in a tax and told the taxi driver, but the taxi driver insisted that the only way to get to Copabana was via ´El Cemetario´. So the door man said ´ok, but you need to take him there, watch him get on the bus and then you need to come back here immediately and confirm he got on´. Then the door man looked at me and said ´Be careful, very careful.
Great. While it is good to have people watching after me if people see the tax driver taking to good of me then it will only make me a target. On the way to the station I realized the hotel had also called the taxi driver´s boss and explained the situation. The office also was explaining the drive was dangerous. I asked why and the driver explained that there was lots of snow and lots of accidents and that I probably shouldn´t go. I agreed to go back to the hotel, but he said he will check at the station first. After checking at the station he felt more comfortable and said it was ok to go. I paid the tax driver his 20 bolivianos ($2.50) and paid the driver of my mini-bus 15 bolvianos ($2) for his 3 hour driver.
The drive went pretty well overall. Especially once we got to the high plains where there was less snow. I later found out that this was the most snow la paz has had in 10 years. We also had to make a river crossing where our mini-van had to cross on one boat and the passengers on another. We had to wait a half hour until the water was calm enough to cross and even then I thought for sure we were going to tip. A 50 year old Bolivan woman was grabbing onto my arm for her life. She must have thought that I would float.
We arrived on to the small town of Copacabana, Bolivia four hours later and checked into a smelly horrible hotel that cost $2.50 a night for a private room with a bathroom. All the electricity in the town was out and most of the water didn´t work. I was hanging out with a Spaniard named ´Roc´ and we climbed to a hill over-looking the city and got some great pictures. When we got back down we worked out an agreement to switch hotels. We checked out of our first hotel and were checking into the second when ´roc´got into a disagreement with the owner for the price he was charging us. After Roc accused him of robbing us, the guy refused to give us a room. This disagreement was over 5 bolivianos (75 cents) and now it was 9pm and I was stuck in a tiny bolivan town without a room. Luckily we found another place for $4 pretty quickly....and with tickets to Peru the next day I was looking forward to getting a goods nights sleep.
and arrived in Copacabana, Bolivia at 1:30pm. This was after numerous warning from my hotel, driving through La Pazs biggest snowfull in 10 years and thinking for sure our boat was going to capsize. After switching hotels here and getting kicked out of another I am all set to arrive in Puno, Peru tomorrow morning.
More information to come tomorrow night hopefully.