SA 17: Copacabana to La Paz

Okay, so not much to report today as it was mostly a transit day.  But we did have one boat based adventure today on our bus ride.  Yes, on your left, that’s our bus on a boat.

I dunno, I figured the bus ride to La Paz from Copacabana would involve 100% roads.  And it did, until we got to some small town I didn’t recognize.  The bus driver’s helper comes up and says something along the lines of “Boat”, “1.5 Bolivianos”, “You can leave things on the bus if you want to.”  I’m thinking that maybe some people on our bus are taking a boat tour and leaving us or something, but we ALL get off of the bus and are loaded onto a lovely, totally safe looking can see our bus on a boat.

Please note the velour posts in the middle, the totally safe looking lifejackets that everybody was asked to wear that didn’t actually snap on and imagine the smell of gasoline lingering in the air.  Lovely stuff, really.  The bus was hauled across on the log raft you saw above, S-L-O-W-L-Y, and I was very thankful that Lake Titicaca isn’t a very stormy lake.  Good job, that.

The one bonus of the experience is the picture below, which Daina says is the best picture that’s been taken of him in nearly three years.  I cried a little bit inside on that one.  However, it is a really nice shot.  Not nearly as “nice” as the shot of the bathroom he had to use a few minutes later, which he says will haunt him in his dreams.  Exact quote “I wish I knew enough Spanish to tell them that if I’m paying a Boliviano for their bathroom, they should f*cking clean the thing.”

Such is the hit and miss nature of South American bathrooms.

One thing I do need to note about Bolivia is that, so far, it has been one of the more nickel-and-dimey countries I’ve been to.  For instance, yesterday at Isla del Sol, you paid for the ferry ticket, then you had to pay to see the sites, then you had to pay twice at checkpoints on the three hour trail, then you had to pay to get in to the village at the end of the island.  It only came to the equivalent of an extra three or four dollars, but I can’t figure why they don’t just fold the price in to the whole thing.  These were all official checkpoints and such, as well.

Today was the same thing.  We had bought the bus ticket to La Paz and I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out why they didn’t just add 1.5 Bolivianos to the price of the ticket.  Seems it would have made things simpler.

Anyway, we now seem to have reliable internet so pictures should be able to accompany our posts.  Check out the Facebook album for the best of them (and here for some shots of Bolivia)!

More on the highest capital city in the world tomorrow!

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