Puno, Peru to Copacabana, Bolivia
Less than 90 miles of riding today. The shortest ride yet. From Puno I rode along the shoreline of Lake Titicaca to the Bolivia border.
This border was even less busy than when I entered Peru. Not a single car or person was there so I was through in just a few minutes.
The thing that took the longest time on the Bolivian side was the border agent inspecting every dollar I paid him for my visa. US citizens need a visa to enter Bolivia and it’s a staggering $135 payable only in US dollars. The agent inspected every single bill for rips, wrinkles, or tears. Even the single fold line when I had the bills in my wallet displeased this guy. When I went to exchange money for Bolivianos the person there did the same thing. I guess the deal goes like this. I give them perfectly new dollars and they hand me tattered, dirty Bolivianos. Welcome to Bolivia! There was no friendly greeting by border agents here and no one wanted their photos of the bike, no chubby babies. No one even looked at me here. When I stopped people on the street to ask a question they’d mumble a reply while avoiding eye contact. Coming from such friendly countries as Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia, this seemed strange. I had been told about it but I didn’t think it’d be like this.
Driving into Copacabana was easy as there weren’t any cars or busses on the road. I quickly found Hostel Sonia and parked the bike. Easy parking, slow wifi, and a double room for 40B. While it was still sunny out I went to see the city. The storm clouds hung around but never moved over the town. Being right on Lake Titicaca the town is a popular destination for tourists taking tours of the lake and nearby islands.
The shoreline has small amusement games for kids, paddle boats for rent, and my personal favorite, seafood restaurants. The town surprisingly was a hot spot for the vagabond traveler types. I see them in every city but here was their mecca. Hip restaurants, bars, and coffee shops lined the main street each promoting their special menu and live music. From the dreads of the people passing out the flyers. I’m guessing it was lots of reggae.
I walked back down to the lake and sat on the dock as the sun dipped behind the dark clouds for night. Up until sunset I was in a strange unhappy/grumpy mood all afternoon. I sat on the dock and thought about it. I haven’t thought this way in a while. That’s when I reminded myself that’s all it was, it was a thought and then a decision. The cold lake air blew onto the dock and knocked some sense into me. All I had to do was choose to change my attitude. It didn’t matter that shop owners or people didn’t say hi or give me good service. I didn’t have to let that bother me. As the city lights turned on I looked at the bright side. There was no rain when it could easily be pouring. Even then it’s just rain and I can choose how to react to that.