Our final days in Peru were spent cycling around Lake Titicaca. The first glimpses of the lake were mainly of reeds but the views improved as we headed towards Bolivia. We pensively followed the progress of storms around us, hoping they would not come our way.
We enjoyed a tour of Juli’s Plaza de Armas on the front of Bremma’s tandem….
…. checking out the local thatching standards along the way.
After a final blat along the altiplano, we finally reached the border. There was no jail time for overstaying our visa but we did have to pay $1 for every extra day, plus s/25 for the pleasure of the experience. As usual, the border control officials were not open to any humour of any kind and documents were processed without even the peep of a smile. After 3 1/2 months in Peru we were very sad to leave. I highly recommend a visit, if you’re contemplating a future trip.
So, into a new country: Bolivia. A simple form to fill in and documents processed without even establishing eye contact and we were good to go.
First stop in this new country was at the lakeside ‘gringo’ resort of Copacabana.
With a Barry Manilow ear worm we entered the busy town and found a restaurant that would let us set up camp for the night.
The following day was a stunning ride up out of Copacabana….
….. and down to a short ferry ride across Lake Titicaca.
We are impressed with their enthusiasm to decorate their cars.
The weather was kind and we were afforded some stunning views of the lake from the Bolivian side.
Unfortunately the weather deteriorated. It began with impressive thunder and lightening storms across the lake and then continued with heavy rain overnight, followed by consistent rain all the next day. We had a very wet ride into La Paz. It was also one of the most terrifying rides I have experienced. There were potholes nearly the size of Lake Titicaca, heavy traffic and pedestrians taking their chances through it all. It was a white knuckle ride down the steep cobbled streets in the the centre and I was running mainly on adrenaline. I was so relieved to arrive at the Casa de Ciclista, a haven for weary cyclists in the middle of La Paz. Some may say it somewhat resembles a homeless squat but to us it feels like home for a few days. We have met up with our Aussie cycling chums once more (previously seen showing off their Christmas calves) and are enjoying some good eating, drinking and socialising.
New chains have been purchased, laundry is being done, repairs are in process. A good time to catch up on jobs and then we head south across the Bolivian altiplano and towards Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid territory.