Friday, 13 February 2009


After days of puffing it up the Andes, we thought we deserved some R&R heading into Bolivia, so we headed to the beach resort of Copacabana. Well, the term ´beach resort´might be a misnomer given that Bolivia lacks a coastline and there´s very little beach to speak of , and certainly no surf. However, the town sits in a bay on Lake Titicaca, and it lived up to its name in other ways; Barry Manilow would have been pleased to hear that we hit the town during the festival of the Virgin Mary of Copacabana and that we witnessed plenty of “singing and dancing” . The locals were certainly “all together at the Copacabana”, coming in from miles away to join in the fun – which involved decorating their cars with flowers, spraying them with beer and confetti, and then waiting for the local priest to bless the resulting automotive mess. Oh the fun! This was followed by marching bands, dancing ladies (albeit not the Brazilian beauties you might imagine. Far from it.) and everyone drinking about a year´s worth of alcohol. All well and good, except that the massive enebriation posed us a problem at the end of the weekend´s festivities when we needed to move on to La Paz: all the bus drivers were completely pissed off their heads. Miraculously (the Virgin works in mysterious ways) we managed to find the one tea-total evangelical bus driver in the whole place to get us out of there. And there´s me thinking she only likes Catholics…

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