This is where the Inca’s believe that the sun was born and the next island over is Isla del Luna, the birth place of the moon. The Inka legend says that it was the god, Viracocha, who rose here from Lake Titicaca after a great flood, to create the sun, moon and stars. There is also an underwater temple that was discovered in the year 2000, just off the coast of Copacabana. Our journey began as we travelled by boat a couple hours from Copacabana to Isla del Sol. The voyage over was great, as we were entertained by an Argentine trio of musicians and had the opportunity to sit on the front of the boat under the afternoon sun. We decided to stay on the north side of the island which was a bit quieter and closer to the ruins. Another advantage of the north was the influx of young bohemian argentines camping on the beach, playing music and loving life!
My first night on the island I stayed right on the beach in a very basic room, my only issue was it was a trek to the communal toilet that only locked by tying a shoelace around the door. The second night I decided to make the hike 20 minutes up from the beach to the hostel where Ka and Astro were staying. This is where we met our new friend named Michael who has now become my travel partner. Lifue in Isla del Sol was incredibly beautiful and peaceful. The views from our place, just set back from the cobblestone trail that led to the ruins, were so serene! Green terraces with corn and potatoes with their white and purple flowers, the sparkling blue green water of lake Titicaca below and the snow capped Andean mountains in the distance. It was a real gift to experience such untouched beauty…not just the scenery, but the whole way of life for the people living here.
My best memory from my time on Isla del Sol was the day Michael, Patrick and I hiked from the North, 11 km to the South end of the island. We travelled along the coast, through chetuawa communities, up steep hills passing donkeys, pigs and sheep and finally arrived in the south port around 3:30pm. Our plan had been to hike one way and catch the boat back to the north since the hike down to the south port ends with a steep staircase that is more than 400 m! Seriously, the idea of walking back up that in the blazing mid-afternoon sun, after 3 hours of hiking at 4000 m above sea level was beyond what i was prepared to do! I find it interesting how we sometimes get pushed beyond what feels like our physical limits and not only do we survive, we actually thrive! That is what happened to me that day! There were no boats that we could find to take us back to the North, except private ones that were going to cost more money than a weeks accommodation in Bolivia, which we didn’t have anyway…we were going to have to hike back. I am always amazed, from where I seem to find the strength to carry on when it would appear that everything in me tells me that I am done! It takes just one step at a time and that is what I did as I climbed back to the top of that staircase with my pack on my back and my legs trembling. In those moments, asking for some Divine intervention and support definitely helps, as does remembering all that I have overcome…all the mountains I have figuratively climbed in my life up till this point!
That hike back to North side of the island turned out to be the most beautiful hike ever! It was just the 3 of us and it was golden hour for most of it. We arrived at the sacred temples just as the sun was dipping below the horizon and reflecting of the Andes in the distance. It felt like we were on top of the world, as clouds wisps floated just above our heads. It was such a gift to be able to experience Isla del Sol this way! Thank you for the reminder that miracles are waiting for us when we trust the flow and embrace what is being offered to us!