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Good Food in Bolivia!

Copacabana, Bolivia

I just wanted to leave Bolivia, but Joanne had been reading the guide book and Copacabana was going to be nice, apparently. At least is was at the border with Peru. Bolivia had been one of the countries we were most looking forward to, but I was feeling very negative about it now. Looking back at it, the Salar de Uyuni trip was amazing: the landscapes we went through there was fantastic, but it cost a lot of money; in fact, taken together with the Death Road cycle, they alone used up what I had estimated our entire budget for Bolivia would be. South American “cheap” is not like Asian cheap.

Anyway, one thing we were looking forward to in Copacabana was, because it's on Lake Titicaca, fish in Bolivia would finally be safe to eat, and trout is abundant apparently. Of course, we were looking forward to the ceviche in Peru even more, but a Peruvian guy staying at the Wild Rover had told us that we have to wait for the coast for the ceviche to be safe in Peru; apparently the fish from Titicaca isn't right for ceviche. However I was still really ill and wouldn't be eating anything; I just wanted to get to the hostel and get to sleep. The hostel was apparently very disorganised and had no idea that we had booked with them, so they did not subtract our ten percent booking fee from the bill, although I think what they charged us was less than the online price anyway.

I just went to bed, leaving Joanne to fend for herself for the first time in ages. I slept all the way to morning, but when I got up and used the shower I was not impressed: there was no hot water, which wouldn't have been a problem if it was warm, but we were at about 3900 metres above sea level, so it was cold. To make matters worse, this cold water was streaming through bare wires hanging down from the shower head, where they were presumably supposed to do something about heating the water, but were just scaring me instead. Online we had booked for two nights, but decided to take advantage of their ignorance by moving hostel to a much nicer place.

I wasn't much impressed by Copacabana itself, but perhaps the main reason for going there is to take a trip to the nearby islands, so we made enquiries at a couple of travel agents. The woman at the desk of one reasonably-priced place told us that the trip leaves early for the Isla del Sol, visiting the South end of the island, before stopping off for an hour or so at Isla de la Luna and returning about 6pm. We bought tickets for this half-day ticket, but when we returned to get on the boat, the captain said that we were going to the Isla del Sol then returning at 4pm. I was still annoyed with Bolivia, so I got very angry and demanded our money back. He sent us back to the office and we did get a refund. The woman at the desk denied that she had told us that the trip went to Isla de la Luna. What a liar!

I was still feeling quite unwell anyway, so I returned to bed and sent Joanne out to get me medicine, book a full day trip the next day, and book the bus to Peru. For the first time, I gave her the dictionary and an extra phrase book; she was going to have to speak Spanish! She had started quite well, making a reasonable effort in Chile, but has quickly become lazy as my Spanish got a bit better. Now she was in at the deep end. A bit later she came back with everything, having apparently found it all easy enough. There were no trips to Isla de la Luna, even though every travel agent had a sign outside saying “trips to Isla de la Luna”. Everyone had told her that you can only do it with a private boat, which they don't offer. We theorised that because high season was now finished, they were no longer doing there.

I was feeling lots better, so we headed out to find some trout. We found quite a nice place at the water front and I ordered a trout. For reasons I cannot understand, Joanne ordered lasagne; here we are at a lake full of fish, which we had been looking forward to for weeks and she orders lasagne. The trout was very nice, though a bit on the small side. Apparently Joanne's lasagne was OK. Definitely feeling much better after dinner, I finally got around to smoking the Cohiba I had bought in the Cuban bar in La Paz.

permalink written by  The Happy Couple on November 1, 2009 from Copacabana, Bolivia
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