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  • Day143

    The South of The Island

    April 19, 2016 in Bolivia ⋅ 🌙 25 °C

    We rise early at its a beautiful day, Mark and I have massive argument over who gets the bathroom first, and it really is so petty, but sometimes you just wake up and take your grumpyness out on each other. I take a walk to the lakefront and calm down, and have a little chuckle as i hide behind the boat shed , and see Mark walking back and forth looking for me as I have the room key. After several cigarettes i decide to go back and make the peace. We go for breakfast and make a plan to walk to the South of the island. Olivia is feeling a little better today and has agreed to come with us , so seeing as she speaks fluent Spanish we go to the tourist office and enquire about a boat back from the South of the Island as its a good 9km walk there and pretty much uphill all the way back (or so weve been told). We are told the he 'thinks' there is a boat back at about 4 or 5, so off we set. We are all still struggling with the altitude and the initial climb up nearly kills us all, but the view from the top is astounding. As we walk along the coast line the views change constantly and the size of the lake just keeps growing.. The rawness of this island becomes so apparent as you walk these trails and the locals are herding their sheep or llamas or pigs and we stick out a mile as tourists. I sometimes feel like im invading their space as their is no internet here and there has only really been tourists to the island in the past 15 years but its very apparent that there is a lot of building work going on here and they are expecting a lot more. The guy whos hostel we are staying in says that he used to be a fisheman here , but the trout have got less and the tourists more so he decided to build a hostel 5 years ago. It took him 4 years to construct and this is his first year of trading. Im kind of pleased for him, but worry about how quickly this island of pefection could be ruined so easily. As we make our way around we are stopped buy a guy who sits on a rock and sells admission tickets to his village at the cost of £1.50 each , there is no other way around so we pay our way an descend down to the beach below. As we are walking along Sophie finds a skull bone, and a litlle bit further a jaw bone. We have no idea what they are from but we think maybe a sheep. Mark gets his swiss army knife out, and cuts out one of the teeth for her to kee rather than carrying the whole thing around. We take a cigarette break here and its just so peaceful i sit on the beach and take it all in having a quiet moment.
    Weve come down so theres only one thing for it we have to go back up ,there us a small sign saying it's only an hour and a half to the South with no rest, which is a bit of a joke when the first thing we encounter is a load of steps heading upwards. After numerous stops we are once again on a flat level and continue the journey South. We walk for another hour or so and as we round the mountain we beleve that the village must be on the other side but as we approach we are sadly dissapointed its not. I walk on ahead to check out if there is a trail, but when we relook at the minimilistic map we have we realise we must have taken a wrong turn, so back up the mountain pathe we trek. As we make our way back we see a couple of people on a trek that we cannot believe we saw, it s o obvious there might as well be a pavement. Once again we have to pay to trek into the village and we ask the Bolivian women if its all downhill now and they say yes. ALL BOLIVIAN PEOPLE LIE the next part is still uphill and there is a small girl with two llamas , when i go to take a photo she says i have to pay her 3 bolivianos. I bargain her down to 2 and take my pictures. A short whie later and we are in the upper part of Yumani . We meet up with a few people wed seen on the North of the island and they recommended the restaurant so we sat with the most magnificent view over looking the lake , probably one of the most magnificent views ive had eating a meal. After lunch we make the arduous journey down to the shore. The steps are so steep that i pray there is a boat that can take us back to the North. We have asked at the restaurant and they have told us there are only private boats that will cost us 200 bolivianos (£20) then when we ask a guy a bit further he tells us 250 bolivianos. By the time we reach the shore the price is 300 , but with a bit of bartaring we manage to hire a small fishing boat for 150. We board the boat by dangling of the edge of the prom and dropping in and the guy tops the outboard motor up with a 2 litre bottle of fuel, i hope its enough to get us there. Its really not too bad as the views that we get are far better than the ones we had in the cramped boat here with steamed up windows. We safely arrive to land , but money is running a bit dry as there are no cashpoints dinner has to be a couple of empanadas , and i am more than happy when freddy lights a fire to warm us up. Yet another storm brews and the lightning show is amazing i get into bed and can still see the lightning and hear the thunder before droing soundly off to sleep.
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