David Suzuki & The Bear – Copacabana, Bolivia

29 Jan

Lake Titicaca - Copacabana, Bolivia

Bolivia was never on my bucket list but I’m glad it was on someone’s (not sure who on the trip to credit) as it’s been one adventure after another.

Our journey to Lake Titicaca (phonetically, titty-ka-ka) in Copacabana, Bolivia began on the overnight bus just hours following returning to Cusco, Peru after completing our 4-day trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Needless to say we were exhausted and we were all looking forward to sleeping on the bus, which had nearly fully reclining seats.

Minutes after we had settled in to our seats we heard these loud and persistent noises that sounded like a mix between the snoring of hibernating bear, someone with a severe case of sleep apnea that also had a vile nose cold. At first I didn’t even recognize the sound as coming from a human being because it was so outrageously loud. We all looked back to see this huge beast of a man, sound asleep. Safe to say only 1 person on the night bus had sweet dreams – The Bear (also referred to as Jonny’s nemesis).

Around 6am we had to change buses but there was a 2 hour wait before we could get on our connecting bus and by this time we were completely delirious due to sleep deprivation. Finally it was time to line up for the bus and we saw a guy that was the spitting image of David Suzuki. As we walked past him, Jonny looked him straight in the eye and asks, “David?”. The guy shook his head no and smiled which we found hilarious. I’m not sure if he knew who we meant or not, if he’d been asked before or if he even spoke English.

We boarded the bus and who is sitting directly in front of Jonny? The Bear. Seriously, we thought we might be able to catch some z’s on this leg of the trip but no such luck. The Bear popped some sort of pill and was out within minutes. (It got to the point that we pulled out J.J.’s iPhone app that measures sound.) We were also sitting next to the washroom which was absolutely rank (no amount of covering our faces would make the smell and I openly glared at anyone that dared open the door to use the facilities).

We arrived just before the Bolivian border and had to first go through immigration on the Peru side before we were able to walk under a crumbling concrete archway to Bolivia. We cleared customs there, finding it strange that we received our country stamps without the authorities ever opening the photo page of our passports.

Then it was time to hop into an overcrowded shuttle van that comfortably would have seated 9 but we had about 12 or 13 of us crammed in. Lucky us, The Bear piled in and sat in front of Tal and Jonny and beside J.J. and I. 15 or 20 minutes later we arrived in Copacabana. Unfortunately before we could get out of the shuttle, we had to first witness The Bear try to wiggle his way out of the vehicle, his pants dropping to show us his plumber’s bum. To put it somewhat delicately, this guy had never heard of manscaping and this incident gave us further reason to continue referring to him as The Bear.

Our first mission was to find a hostel with some vacant rooms as we hadn’t had a chance to book one from Peru. We walked to our first choice, based on a review in Lonely Planet, and it was full. Our next top pick (Aldea de Inca) was also full, but had an opening the following night, so we splurged and booked that one for the following night at $44 CDN per night. We finally came across a hostel, nearly at the lake, with 2 available rooms for that night. They weren’t the nicest but they were fine for what we needed – a good night’s sleep (after a few beers on a patio of course).

It was early to bed for all of us that night, and we were thankful our rooms had HBO that aired English movies that we could veg out to.

The following morning we woke up fairly early, still used to the 5:30am wake-up calls we had been getting on the Inca Trail. We wandered down to the shore and enjoyed a 6/BS coffee (approximately $1 CDN) on the sand before moving our things over the more posh hostel we had booked the day before.

At the Aldea de Inca we were able to have our Inca Trail laundry done (thank God, the smell of sweat, Dove deodorant, damp clothes and sunscreen had begun to make me feel ill), grab a bite (enchiladas – delicious but terrible for a weak stomach such as mine), and explore the area.

Later that evening, we found a bar/restaurant with a lively happy hour, complete with a 2-man reggae band that played a mix of local music and Bob Marley. (I was thinking a certain friend’s husband back home would have loved this!)

We headed to bed at a responsible hour as we were going to be getting up in time to cash in on our hostel’s free breakfast (which was amazing – fresh squeezed watermelon and mango juice, eggs, toast, yogurt, granola, banana bread, etc.) and buy our bus tickets to La Paz, Bolivia.

We crossed our fingers we wouldn’t be on the bus with The Bear.

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One Response to “David Suzuki & The Bear – Copacabana, Bolivia”

  1. Clegg January 29, 2012 at 12:04 #

    Hahahaha funniest post yet! ‘David?’

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