Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day 28 - Island Magic

There are two times a day when boats leave Copacabana for Isla de Sol: 8:30 am and 1:30 pm. We overslept, and hence missed the first boat. No reason to feel guilty, though. After the creaky-TV-caused sleep deprivation on the bus to Puno, I deserved a whole ten hours of rest.

Breakfast consisted of orange juice, pancakes, and chocolate syrup...for the pancakes. We roamed the small markets of Copacabana. My mission was to find a new headband, or wincha, so I was "tiene winchas"ing every seƱora I saw. Nikhil and Sucharit kept themselves busy by trying on bowler hats. Some of the shopkeepers were fairly rude. Nikhil asked one lady if she rents tents for camping. Her reply was "I don´t, they don´t, no one in this town does!" The harshness was aslo evident in the demeanor of our hostel´s keepers. Yesterday, they agreed to us leaving our bags in a room when we went to the island. Now that we paid them, they wouldn´t allow us to deposit our bags until tomorrow, only until 6 pm today. This was my first taste of rudeness in South America. Peruvians were never this coarse with us. First impression of Bolivia is slowly sinking.

The two hour boat ride to Isla de Sol was a conversation with an English gentleman. He was travelling with his wife and kids. It´s always nice to see families traveling together. The kids were much more well-behaved than I remember my brother and I being when we used to travel as a family.

Upon reaching the island with the boatful of tourists like ourselves, little boys jumped onto the boat, asking every passenger if they wanted a room, a bed, anything. The mini-agents followed certain travellers. A pre-teen boy came with us, promising a 15 boliviano room. The higher we climbed on the stairs, the cheaper the hostels got. Our place was quite high.

It was suitable enough; three beds and a light that worked. A few minutes into settling down, Sucharit mentioned something all of us had overlooked. We didn´t have enough money to stay on the island for more than a night. In fact, we might not have enough money, period. We played it safe, feasting on store-bought bread, a crumbly block of cheese, and a mandarin and banana for each of us. This is what happenes when you are vacationing on an allowance - the simplest meal tastes better than any restaurant buffet.

3 comments:

  1. Great beginning to real lessons of life. Thiefs have a code of conduct that Wall Street needs to emulate; thiefs spare you your identity, wall street even barters away your soul. Glad the thief could not read english otherwise your Green card would have vanished into thin air; in India it would have been sold for a fortune and Sukhvinder Singh would have landed as PB.

    Here are some ideas for a Bollywoodesque gift for Elita- how about a signed poster of Hrithik Roshan? If you sent a possible script "Lost Love in Peru" to HR he might be willing to send her a signed poster. How about a one year subscription to Filmfare, or a set of DVDs of HR's movies- Elita would love Jodha Akbar. All ladies in the World Bank cafeteria love Jodha Akbar.

    I can see you guys are having fun, I am absolutely envious. However, while gobbling bananas look around for monkeys!!

    Have fun, take pics (on the last remaining camera)Cheers

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  2. Haha, she loooves Jodha Akhbar. Those are some great ideas, mucho gracias!

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  3. hey i was well behaaved...kind of. the english accent prabably threw you off. made the kids sound "propah"

    -srajan

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