First stop in Bolivia
06.11.2007 28 °C
Crossing the border from Peru to Bolivia was a breeze. A 3 hour bus ride from Puno and there we were on the Bolivian side of Titicaca in a little paradise called Copacabana. Really chilled with a lot of white rastas and reggae fans. The perfect place to stop and rest a little bit ...aside from the scorching sun.
Look at the view. A gorgeous blue sky filled with fluffy clouds (I love those!)-
And the women in Bolivia wear these crazy shimmering irredescent skirts (avec des petits volants) that are layered and covered in sequence. There is definitely a preference for shades of turquoise and yellows. And they always combine it with a matching shawl.
And then the CATHEDRAL. It's moorish in style and so bright against the blue sky. It's all white and quite magnificent.
And then there's the CAPILLA DE VELAS (Candle Chapel). You walk into this narrow room with a long narrow metallic counter on which there are thousands of lit white candles. It's really magical. Brel lit 2 for his parents and I lit 2 for mine. And there's someone there permanently in charge of scraping the melted wax to make room for new wishes. There's even tons of graffiti (made of wax of course) decorating the walls. And of course the virgin on her altar at the very end.
And then the most bizarre custom- BENEDICIONES DE MOVILIDADES. Everyday at 8:30 am and 2:30 pm, people come with their cars in front of the cathedral. They decorate it to the max with fresh flowers and guirlandes made of petals (crazy and meticulous work done by the indigenous women of course), so much that they look like brides. And then they gather around the decorated car and start drinking beer which they purposely throw on the windshield and the tires.....for protection. Then the priest comes and blesses the car and everyone goes home happy and feeling safer (I guess). We even saw buses and taxis. The bus was covered in confetti and dripping beer (should try to get on that bus!). Remember that there are A LOT of car accidents here. We have met so many locals who have lost either their mother or father due to a road accident. And the photo on the front page of the newspaper in Peru was always about a bus or truck accident.
At the very end of the "ceremony", they light these huge packs of fire crackers next to the car. It's soooooo loud you can't imagine. Even if you're far from the cathedral you hear the explosions... (they LOVE firecrackers in Latin American countries. I'll never forget the "cuetes" in Mexico- all day long, all night long).
Check out the car decoration stalls in front of the cathedral.
Brel did some horsebackriding with some young kids while I walked to the CERRO CALVARIO, a mountain to see the stations of the cross. All along the steep but easy walk up, you have the stations of the cross spread out along the path. And a breath taking view of the lake (once again).
Oh yeah, they also buy these miniature houses hoping that they will get one in the near future.
When I got up, I saw these older people (men and women) walking around and around one cross on their bare knees...ouch. You can see them under the bigger cross if you look carefully.
And at sunset, a view from our hotel room. We really lucked out with a view right on the water. Sooo peaceful at night. Just the sound of the water and the boats dancing gently on the water.
And the next morning, a walk to the market was a must. Women selling their (very little) fish ...
And PROOF THAT BREL IS WORKING WHILE TRAVELING. In a gorgeous setting I must say. Maybe it's even inspiring and ideal for learning. I just LOVE this picture. I think it sums up so well what this trip is about.
And not just work but also a lot of play. Kayaking on Titicaca.
And I'm sorry to bother you again with more clouds. I could never get enough of these. It's like foam on a capuccino. Miam.