Bike travel, commuting and more


Bolivia IV: Copacabana to San Pablo de Tiquina


Is that the Nevado Ancohuma?

Time to leave Copacabana

After so many days relaxing in Copacabana, it was time to get moving. Our next big target was La Paz, but first we needed to leave the big peninsula where Copacabana lies. For that, we had to cross the Tiquina strait, our objective for today.

Steep street in Copacabana
We got the wrong street in Copacabana
Pedestrian out of Copacabana
Pedestrian climbing along us

But first, we needed to get money, something that was quite hard as there are only a couple ATMs in Copacabana and after the long festive weekend one was empty and the other one had a long queue. We had no choice but to wait as the following days we would be crossing only small villages.

Climbing out of Copacabana
Climbing out of Copacabana

To get out of Copacabana there is first a 12 km climb. Not very steep, but after the long break and the altitude it was not easy.

Copacabana from above
Copacabana from above

After that, comes a plateau with excellent views to remote and quiet valleys and finally a downhill again to lake level.

View towards the South West
Views towards the South West
Plateau above Titicaca
Plateau above Titicaca

On the way down we got excellent views to both the lake on both sides of the road (one Peruvian, one Bolivian), and to the high peaks in front of us.

Going down to Tiquina
Going down to Tiquina
Belgian cyclists on the way up
We met some Belgian cyclists on the opposite direction, with way less luggage!

Once at the bottom in the shore, you can cross the strait on a passenger boat. Us however on “vehicles” had to board one of the many barges crossing the strait and carrying everything from small cars to huge trucks.

Tiquina strait
The Tiquina strait, trucks floating everywhere

It all felt a bit adventurous and the kids loved it. For us it was a bit stressful as there are only some planks of wood for the car wheels and we had to keep the heavy bikes and our balance on those small strips or fall into the floor of the barge. Apparently the government wants to build a bridge but the barge owners refuse to allow it, afraid of losing their jobs.

Lake cruising in Tiquina
Lake cruising

We finally made it to the other side, with great relief. We found a cheap accommodation, although extremely basic, just next to the shore.

Our hostal room
Our hostal room

We actually preferred to sleep in our sleeping bags rather than in the bed sheets but at least it kept us out of the cold outside.

Playing with the son of the hostal owner
Playing with the son of the hostal owner

1 Comment

  1. Katherine G

    Ay mama! Que callecitas esas Las de Copacabana. Lo que me intriga es como dejaste tu bicicleta bien parada en esa subida . Gravedad en su maxima expresion!!! Excellent vistas del lago titicaca por cierto. Saludos!!!

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