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6.22.10: Bolivian Islands

Isla Del Sol

Today around 1pm I boarded a boat from Copacabana to Isla Del Sol (Island of the Sun).
The hour and a half boat ride was amazingly beautiful.
Once we arrived on the island we had about 200 stairs to tackle in order to get up to where the hostels were.
Not having a hostel booked yet, we decided to go with the flow and wing it. We found a nice hostel with a fantastic view of the lake and snow-capped Bolivian mountains beyond it.
We decided to explore the island and see what it had to offer.
We walked all the way down to the tip of the south side of the island to check out the temple of the sun. When I asked the woman who ran our hostel for a map of the island, she pointed to a large painting of the island strung up on the wall. This was the only map there was. She pointed to a tiny building on the south end of the island and told me that was the temple of the sun and that it would only be a short half hour walk. We walked all the way down to where the "map" had said. There was no temple. We will find out later that we had actually passed it. "it" being a small, nothing special, brick building blending like camo in with the dozens of other small, nothing special, brick buildings in the vicinity.
I was walking back from my where's Waldo temple search as the sun started setting. I thought that this would be as good of time as any to sit and observe. I watched the blue glistening lake merge with clean white painted mountains on the horizon and as the sun slowly went into hiding the snowy mountains changed before my eyes.
Spotless white with the day light changed to brilliant, fiery orange and on to purple and pink when the sun was just barely holding onto life.
The only noise was the clop, clop, clop of burrow hooves in the distance at random predictable intervals.
I had the best time just sitting, thinking and dreaming. As I wandered back to the hostel it was about dusk. We decided that it was time for a bottle of vino and a game of rummy amongst the peaceful outdoors. As I continued to show max how to win the game we noticed a few English guys playing cards a few tables over with a big bottle of rum. As the sun went down and they were left in darkness, our headlamp seemed pretty appealing to them and their big bottle of rum seemed pretty darn appealing to us so we invited them to join forces.
We played a convoluted game of chip-less Texas hold 'em and decided to move the game indoors toward a light source not attached to a forehead and away from the frostbitten air of the island night. After chatting up drinking games for a while we discovered a mutual admiration for the game "kings cup". Now there are many, many ways to play kings cup and rules vastly differ between states, towns and groups of friends, so when we started to discuss the rules, ready for some debate, we were surprised to find out that we were on the exact same page. Not one differing rule... It was fate.
Drinking with the Englishmen was in the stars. We played a game or two and decided it was time for some food to soak up that rum. Quinoa soup, garlic trout with rice and veggies and bananas and chocolate. It was good but pretty typical of what I've been eating day in and day out so nothing spectacular. The food and drinks sent me into a coma and sleep was my longed for dessert.

Posted by emichele 10:28 Archived in Bolivia

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