I wasn’t really expecting this daytrip to leave at 6:30am…it’s probably a good thing I didn’t know that in advance, or I might not have booked it. I was beginning to seriously run on fumes by this point in the trip, but hopefully seeing Lake Titicaca would make it all worth it. I had to admit, though, as anyone who wasted time watching Beavis and Butt-head as a kid, every time I hear Lake Titicaca I still think of the Great Cornholio…lol
Anyways, enough stupidity. Got to the lobby of my hotel at exactly 6:30, and there were no signs of life stirring yet. There was, however, a petite Bolivian looking lady wandering the lobby looking puzzled, so I asked who she was looking for. Yes, she was my guide…and the driver was on the way. This was all in Spanish, because up until this point she seemed extremely reluctant to speak English. She eventually warmed up, and we were underway.
It was about a 90 minute drive to Huatajata where we would pick up the hydrofoil across the lake. Although this was scheduled to be a group tour, there was nobody else booked from La Paz today, so I’d have the van to the hydrofoil all to myself. Additionally, the hydrofoil ride would be all alone, and we would pick up a large group of…you guessed it….Swiss tourists coming from Peru in Copacabana for the second part of the trip.
We made it Huatajata on time, after a long drive through the sprawling expanses of El Alto. Once there, there was a “museum” to see before starting the trip. When I was booking this, I discussed with several Bolivians I knew, and they all recommended to make the booking with Crillon Tours. Seems they had built much of the tourist infrastructure on the lake, including the hydrofoils, and had all the connections to make the trip the best possible. They’d even built a museum on Huatajata telling a bit of the history around Lake Titicaca, both before and after the arrivals of the Spanish. I was given 20 minutes to check out the museum while my guide got everything sorted for the hydrofoil. First highlight of the museum, a burial mummy:
…followed by the arrival of the Spanish:
Manco Capac, the first Incan incarnation of the Sun God, and his sister and Mama Ocllo in a traditional boat….
Outside the museum were some friendly alpacas (or are they llamas?) just hanging around….