Went to Isla del Sol today on a boat that is one notch down from the typical ones on the Peruvian side. 25 Bs just for the boat ride, so it really shouldn’t be called a “tour” as the company publicised it. But I was to realise that everything in Bolivia is quite different.
Cruising very slowly in the early morning on Titicaca lake is cold, but by the time you start hiking on the island, you can’t wait to peel off your layers.
The north of the island is beautiful, with rocky edges marked with the erosion of wind. Visited a museum, walked past small villages, saw the sacred rock left by the Incans, a natural rock formation that is supposed to look like a puma (“titi” means puma and “caca” means rock) facing a sacrificial table and a labyrinth also left by the Incans. However, the communities living on the island had settled here way before pre-Incan times. Interesting then how the Incans, in its bid to conquer others, adopted some foreign cultures.
In the afternoon, I wandered around on the south side of the island and climbed the so-called Inca Stairs, passing by the Incan fountain, some eco-lodges and a small village, all the time trying hard to avoid stepping on donkey poo.
On the way back to mainland, the boat stopped at a so-called floating island, but after seeing the one at Uros (on the Peruvian side), this felt tacky.
Returned back to mainland by around 530pm, in the glory of the afternoon sun.
After having unhealthy junk food for lunch while hiking on Isla del Sol, I decided to go back to the restaurant I went yesterday that had some interesting vegetarian choices.
Had a vegetable gratin which was more vegetable than cheese, and an Andean criolla salad which consisted of corns (not the sweet corn from NTUC Fairprice, but the variety typical here – large kernels), sweet potato, a tuber that tastes like ubi kayu, quinoa, peanuts, broad beans, tomato, olive and unsalty cheese, all steamed apart from the last two. What a variety of healthy food in just one plate! If truly that was what ancient Andeans ate on a daily basis, it is no wonder that they were such strong mountain people.