Friday, December 01, 2006

Isla del Sol

Copacabana - not the hottest spot north of Havanna...but the lakeside town on the Bolivian side of Lago Titicaca was our launching point for the Isla del Sol.
Stepping on to the legendary birth place of the Inca people is like stepping back in time. Once you get away from the tourists clustered around the wharves where the tour boats stop all to briefly, you are treated to villagers in traditional garb herding their donkeys, cows and sheep up and down the narrow and dusty tracks that criss cross the steep slopes of the isle. Thankfully trekking from the South to the North of the island is sufficiently gruelling to dissuade many of the ´gringo trailers´(only seventeen kilometres, but at over 4000m above sea level and with near vertical slopes, air is in short supply!)
You gasp for air ascending trails that quickly disappear into terraced gardens and have to pick your way through villages with ancient wells, walls and houses indistinguishable from the inca ruins nearby...these people are after all direct and undiminished descendants of the Inca.