|2013-10-03 click for more|
The first 80 km or so of the day passed by pretty quickly on good roads just gently undulating. The landscape was pretty uninspiring though. We had had high hopes off cycling out along the lake but had to wait until we had climbed over a small pass for the scenery to improve. And soon it did get better, the lake was blue and it was much quieter and less build up. It was beautiful riding. We even saw the odd white Bolivian peak in the distance across the lake. To call it a lake seems odd as it seems as vast as the sea.
The plan at the beginning of the day was to try to do the two day distance in one but the contingency plan was to finish the day at Juli if the progress was slow . Juli was preceded by an off putting headwind but fortunately after climbing the only big climb after Juli the wind eased and we picked up speed again . Pomata was a beautiful town where we coincided with all the school kid going home , some on motorbikes, without helmets of course , and looking to be only 12 -13. Quite a few of them tried to say hello or something similar in English. After Pomata we turned 90 degrees to the East and straight into a strength sapping headwind again at which point we began to regret the decision to push on to Copacabana . There was a confusing routine at the border of seeking clearance from the police, checking out of Peru and into Bolivia , but all went well and the Bolivian border guard was very helpful and insisted on extending our visa from 30 to 90 days. We were cheered to see that from the border it was only 8 kms to goal but cruelly disappointed to find them hilly just when the fuel tanks were beyond low.
When we finally rolled into Copacabana after 142 km we immediately liked the place. It is quite small with beautiful views of the lake and we managed to find a hotel right on the beach with beautiful lake views and breakfast for £ 5.- each. There are nice places to eat and it didn't take us long to decide to stay.