From Copacabana it is a simple boat ride across to the Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun), 20 Bolivianos (approx £1.90) secures passage on the 1 1/2 hour voyage from one of the few jetties I didn’t photograph on the Copacabana shore.
Once on the island a very steep set of steps leads up the village of Yumani, most people sensibly only take a few things they need for the night and carry on all the way up the hill to the summit where most of the hotels are. Since I had everything with me I gave up about 20 metres up the hill and negotiated a room for a couple of nights (which became 3 – cost 65 Bolivianos per night.)
Isla del Sol is a beautiful island, there are no roads on it all, everything is transported by man or beast (llama or donkey). Although the facilities are quite basic (no wifi or hot shower) it should be a must on anyones Bolivia trip. It was such a pleasure exploring the island on its paths, jumping out of the way as caravans of farm animals came the other way. The locals would be leading their flock out in the mornings and tying them up to graze for the day – often I’d see pigs, cows, sheep and donkeys all walking along together in front of their shepherd.
Travelling in this part of the world at this time of year has meant more overcast skies than visitors would customarily experience in the peak seasons in june to august, yet it also meant some incredible storms. As the sun passed the horizon I could watch the lightening battering the coast of Peru the north west, or the following morning wake to find lightening just a few miles of the eastern shore of the island.
Photographing the islanders I came across on the pathways was a much a part of it as the landscape itself, it was pretty difficult to get person and llama to look at the camera at the same time though!
Trucha con Papas Fritas (again)
Wall Mural of Che Guevera and others
Piglets grazing in fields, Isla del Sol, Bolivia
Portrait of Mariel with her two Llamas, Isla del Sol, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia
Portrait of painter Edwin Vargas at work, Isla del Sol, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia
Lightening storm over the bay at Yumani, Isla del Sol, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia (shot from outside my hotel at 5:24am)
Sunset from the West side of the Isla del Sol, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia
Portrait of Rayna with her Llama, Isla del Sol, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia