A beautiful lake exists up in the Peruvian and Bolivian mountains, and all anyone cares about is the name. In four syllables, Lake Titicaca manages to include slang terms for breasts and poo. Predating any influence of Spanish or English, the name is a Quechua word that has some reference to a Puma. To a Puma hunting I think, not defecating. This is where I made my crossing, taking the very Westernised Bolivia Hop bus from Puno, Peru, to Copacabana, Bolivia. The first Copacabana, where the neighbourhood in Rio stole it’s name from. Bolivia Hop was an expensive way to cross, at $50, but it did take me all the way from Cusco, Peru, to La Paz, Bolivia, with several one or two day stops in between. And they provided a blanket, which wasn’t enough, because when they sun went down over Lake Titicaca, temperatures dropped below freezing. I had to buy a new jumper for myself. But the main reason I paid extra, was because along with Bolivian busses having reputation for crashes, Bolivia Hop helps at the border crossing.
And after a nightmare crossing in Ecuador that ended up in expensive bribes, I was happy to pay a little extra to avoid the same fate in Bolivia. And I likely would have suffered it, because the Bolivian immigration office is a tiny hole in the wall that is impossible to find unless you know where it is. Peru Hop also offers a similar service, but for three times the price, and they are run by the same company.
View from Isla del Sol in the middle of Bolivian side of the Lake
3810 metres is 12500 ft, a recipe for altitude sickness for people that haven’t spent time adapting to Cusco and drowning the sickness in coca tea. I was fine.