Her name was Lola...

June 3, 2010 (Day 16)

We left Puno at about 7am aboard a tourist bus towards Copacabana, Bolivia.

So it was no surprise that Copacabana was the official song of the day.  If only we could have remembered all the words.... lol

About half-way through our 3-hour journey, the bus stopped at a currency exchange counter that probably provides a commission to the bus operator but it surprisingly provided a fairly reasonable exchange, which was confirmed by a fellow Canadian checking out the latest rates on his phone.

After exchanging our U.S. Dollars for Bolivianos, we boarded the bus and headed to the Peru-Bolivian border.  Along the way, we were provided with forms to fill out, along with the helpful instructions of "Just check the 'No' boxes" ;-)  At last, we reached the border, where we got off the bus and headed over to a little office where we handed over our Peruvian immigration papers and Canadian passports for scrutiny and our exit stamps. 

We then proceeded to walk up the road

and walk across the border into Bolivia, where we stepped into another small office to present our Bolivian paperwork and passports for verification and stamping.

Everything went smoothly and since some of you were curious, no bribes were required.  We boarded our bus and were once again on our way to Copacabana.  Interestingly enough, there is a 1-Boliviano tax upon entry to city limits of Copacabana.  Yes, one Boliviano (or about 15 cents Canadian)!  And yes, they do collect it.  A man boarded the bus, and collected it from each and everyone of us.  He then proceeded to walk back down the aisle to give us a receipt!  Not really worth the time and effort in my books, but then again, I guess every penny counts in Bolivia.

Yes, we're in Copacabana, baby!

The noon sun is shining.

There's not a cloud in the sky.

Lake Titicaca and the beach await us!

The bus dropped us off in front of their office near the city's main plaza and we made our way uphill to our hostel, where we quickly found ourselves in our summer clothes, and skipped on our way back down the hill to the beach, while humming away our favorite song of the day. Though when we hit the beach, we were thoroughly disappointed.  The view of the beach from our hostel was very deceiving.  The beach, if you can call it that, consisted mostly of rocks, grass, broken glass, and those extremely tacky swan paddle boats.  No sandy beaches here, and the water along the shoreline didn't look or smell too inviting either.  It's quite unfortunate really, considering the beautiful setting we were in but that quite frankly appears to be the case all over Bolivia, where people don't seem to particularly care about the upkeep of the environment despite the economic benefits it could provide because Copacabana could very easily become a major destination resort town if the waterfront was cleaned up.

After inspecting the shoreline and hoping for better sands further away from the town, we determined that it was a fruitless exercise, and proceeded to head back and have lunch at one of the beach-side restaurants.  Another disappointment.  They first got two of our three orders completely wrong, and then the food was fair, at best.  Copacabana was not creating a great lasting impression....

After walking around town, we headed back to Hostal La Cúpula to relax in the hammocks overlooking the bay.  The view was spectacular with the sun basking the hills, and it was nice to just lie back and relax.

It quickly became cooler as the sun set, so we grabbed our warmer gear and headed back into town where we observed a beautiful sunset from the main street before settling on a Mexican food restaurant.  One step inside Nimbo Cafe Restaurant and we knew we hit the jackpot!

It was the creepiest yet also most hilarious restaurant I've ever come across.  Words can't describe its interior.  The owner must have been on a certain somethin' something when decorating the place or just plain old creative in a very unique and obscure way... alpaca rugs on the seats, fake vines with some blinking Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling, a miniature dwarf collection, mystic creatures everywhere, and who can possibly forget the wall painting of the girl with the unicorn horn, lol.

At first, we were the only ones there, but as the evening progressed, more people showed up and their reactions were priceless... from scared to confused to just being curious, everyone's reaction was pretty much the same as they made their way to the back of the restaurant in search of the elusive waiter.  It was nice to just relax, enjoy each other's company over a candlelight dinner and some very lively Coronas while playing cards in this hilariously creepy place.

"Perfection is achieved, 
not when there is nothing more to add, 
but when there is nothing left 
to take away."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Gadgets By Spice Up Your Blog