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.
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.
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.
After that, comes a plateau with excellent views to remote and quiet valleys and finally a downhill again to lake level.
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.
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.
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.
We finally made it to the other side, with great relief. We found a cheap accommodation, although extremely basic, just next to the shore.
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.