Lake Titicaca.     Life, Yummy Food & Funny Stories

Lake Titicaca was the heart of the Incan and Andean civilizations.

Today, its importance is of a more touristic nature.

These are my observations and stories from two weeks there.

 

Sunset over Copacabana
Sunset over Copacabana

 

Taquile Island is a staple of the tourist boat tour from Puno, Peru.
Taquile Island is a staple of the tourist boat tour from Puno, Peru.

Observations from Lake Titicaca

If you want a beautiful hotel in Copacabana, I highly recommend La Cupula. Specifically, the hot tub and fireplace suite.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Whether it’s for the Virgin festival, Carnival or something else, there always seems to be a marching band rehearsing somewhere in town, as the sound spreads throughout.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It’s amazing how different the Bolivian and Peruvian sides of Lake Titicaca are.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

All over Lake Titicaca, there are incredible green mountainsides that have pre-Incan agricultural terraces. Over the centuries, these terraces have been maintained and are still in use.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

There are lambs, sheep, goats, cows and pigs everywhere around Lake Titicaca and on its islands.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Hail is very common around Lake Titicaca.
Hail is very common around Lake Titicaca.

 

Thunderstorms are a common occurrence,
Thunderstorms are pretty common too.

 

Copacabana's waterside is filled with boats for rent, fooseball tables, water sports and all sorts of food and drink vendors
Copacabana’s waterside is filled with boats for rent, fooseball tables, water sports and all sorts of food and drink vendors

 

Outside of the main church in Copacabana, Bolivia, cars line up daily to be blessed and covered in holy flowers.
Outside of the main church in Copacabana, Bolivia, cars line up daily to be blessed and covered in holy flowers.

 

Tourism has become the main form of business near Lake Titicaca.
Tourism has become the main form of business near Lake Titicaca.

Yum yum… food in my tum tum

Quinoa soup is a staple of every meal and comes in various varieties: broth, creamy, chock-full of vegetables, just quinoa, etc.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Food is very similar on both the Peruvian and Bolivian sides of Lake Titicaca.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Trout is the primary food around Lake Titicaca.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Salchipapas, which are French fries with sliced hot dogs, are very popular and one of my favorite foods in Lake Titicaca.Salchipapas, which are French fries with sliced hot dogs, are very popular and one of my favorite foods in Lake Titicaca. (photo to the right)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Quinoa soup is a staple of every meal and comes in various varieties: broth, creamy, chock-full of vegetables, just quinoa, etc.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In Puno, Peru, your restaurant choices are chicken, pizza, Peruvian Chinese food, lots of bread and salchipapas.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

One day while eating lunch, a cute little girl from the adjoining table came over and started asking questions. Soon after, she was joined by her young friend.

As we excitedly talked about all the things one discusses with a pair of 6 year olds, the entire restaurant sat in silence listening to the two gringos conversing with the local children… for nearly an hour.

 

I can't even count how many times I ate trout during my time at Lake Titicaca.
I can’t even count how many times I ate trout during my time at Lake Titicaca.

Altitude Sickness – Getting High Sucks!

My first introduction to altitude sickness came on a bus ride that approached 5,000 meters above sea level.

As we drove up the mountains and towards Lake Titicaca, my skin began to tingle and I felt dizzy, nauseous and faint.

Not fun!

 

Upon arriving at Lake Titicaca, it took another five days at 3,800 meters before the last of my symptoms – a never-ending headache – finally went away.

Thank goodness; as we would spend the next 4 weeks at that altitude or higher.

Funny fact: According to Lonely Planet, one of the cures for altitude sickness is to take a pill whose side effects are nearly the same as the sickness itself, but that is known to also give takers diarrhea and impotence.

 

Lightning was a common part of the night sky over Lake Titicaca
Lightning was a common part of the night sky over Lake Titicaca

 

Copacabana, Bolivia, is surrounded by mountains and Lake Titicaca.
Copacabana, Bolivia, is surrounded by mountains and Lake Titicaca.

Um, how old are you?

My final story from Lake Titicaca may be my favorite from our entire two weeks there.

 

At the gold museum on Bolivia’s Isla del Sol, the ticket checker was a very friendly senior citizen.

When informed that we didn’t have tickets, he had to call his superior to open the office.

And who was his superior, you may ask?

Why, a 10 year old girl, of course.

 

Ahh, the things you see while traveling!

 

A lawnmower on  Isla del Sol.
A lawnmower on Isla del Sol.

 

The stars are incredibly bright above Copacabana, Bolivia.

 

Hinchaca-Gruta_de_Lourdes-Copacabana_Lake_Titicaca-Bolivia-Greg_Goodman-AdventuresofaGoodMan
The hills surrounding Lake Titicaca are filled with religious sites and caves; like this one: Hinchacha – Gruta de Lourdes.

 

Copacabana - Lake Titicaca, Bolivia - 2014-01-30 14-59-21A
A scene from the streets of Copacabana,

Want to know more about Lake Titicaca?

. . .

Click here for 24 more photos and the
fascinating history of this sacred body of water.