After what was probably the quickest and easiest border crossing I’ve done on this trip we arrived in Copacabana, a town similar to Puno only far more touristy and therefore benefiting from the money that brings in. With beautiful blue sky the town looked even more spectacular, with colourful buildings and houses adding an element of creativity to the place while cafes and restaurants offered outdoor seating to enjoy the view of the lake which we took advantage of for lunch.
After exploring more of the town and admiring the pure white Cathedral decorated with colourful mosaic tiles I ventured further to climb to another viewpoint, subjecting my legs to even more stairs but with an even better reward than in Puno. I sat up there for almost an hour, enjoying the views of the lake again but with a bigger town to admire showcasing more colour and contrast against the mountainous backdrop.
I spent 5 hours exploring the town before boarding the bus again, facing a few more hours until we would arrive in La Paz, a city that shocked me by its size and gave me the familiar hustle and bustle of Lima, something I hadn’t witnessed, nor missed, for a while.
We spent a day walking around the city, finding myself quite lost in the largeness of it all. My sense of overwhelm was exacerbated when we made a circuit on the cable cars, a form of public transport that can take people from one side of the city to the other in under 10 minutes, a solution to the issue of traffic particularly for commuters. We spent about an hour catching 6 different lines, completing a full circuit and getting a bird’s eye view of the whole city as we rested our feet and ‘explored’ for only $2 AUD.
On our final day I found myself coming down with another cold, probably my body fighting with me for being away for close to eight months without too much of a break. Despite the dream it sounds to be, travelling is hard and it can take quite a toll on both your physical and mental health. Mentally, I’ve handled quite well, thankfully loving every minute but happy to be winding down as I get closer to my job and a life in Whistler. Physically, this past month has been quite hard and I’ve had a few days where I’ve struggled; various issues with stomach, altitude or a simple cold, despite maintaining a somewhat healthy diet and getting enough – perhaps too much – exercise in. I have no regrets for what I’m doing, but I think in the future six months may be my travelling limit before I need a month or two to settle down and rest.