Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday, Feb 6th, Copacabana, Bolivia


Not far from Puno, Peru lies the Bolivian border.  But we had to see Inca Oya, an ancient fertility temple, which our guides think is real, but has also been claimed a hoax.  Some of the posts served as hitching posts for Spanish horses until they were returned to the site.
Trout farms on the Lake, a church which incorporates indigenous icons and gives rise to the “Baroque Mestizo” style of architecture, and finally the border.  

We’d been warned that crossing the border may hold some challenges for both us as Americans, and for our guide trying not to be seen as an Ecuadorian working in Bolivia (and not paying taxes).  Seems Bolivians don’t like either.  So we split up before passing though the Peruvian Police station and immigration offices, and then Bolivian immigration and customs.  Paying $135 each to Bolivia, and providing both countries with paperwork (and Pat’s brother’s work address in the emergency contact info?), we re-united, picked up an older van, and drove it to the Rosario del Lago Hotel. 

Copacapana is a pilgrimage site for the people of Bolivia and Southern Peru to come to the Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Candelaria to show their devotion.  It’s also the access point to the Island of the Sun, said to be the birthplace of the Inca Empire.  We missed the actual 430th year celebration by a few days, but the afterglow still permeates the town, including the year-round church blessings of the cars purchased by everyone from the region.   Tomorrow, we're boating out to the Island of the Sun.

We’re back from a walk through the town, and are enjoying the late afternoon sun through our bedroom windows.  We’re told the sunset over the Lake is beautiful, and we’ll watch it over dinner at the hotel.  To see all of the photos taken today, click on Wednesday, Feb 6th, Copacabana, Bolivia.

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