Our group set off easily before dawn today, as we had shared a dorm, and a third of the travellers had vomited or fainted through the restless night due to altitude sickness. I was fine even though we drove up to 4900 metres this morning.
On the way to the border post, a tiny shack in the windy desert, we passed colourful, mineral rich mountains and lagoons.
Bubbling mud pools surrounded geysers.
Some soaked in the hot springs on the edge of a flamingo filled lake, but at -5 degrees, I was not tempted.
My bus traversed the strait on a raft, the passengers in a small, rocking boat, to reach the lakeside town of Copacabana. The man below is in the Bolivian navy, stationed at the lake since Bolivia lost its coastline.
At a waterfront stall I ate fried trout with tomato chilli salsa and fresh lime on a bed of giant white corn kernels with black potatoes on the side. At a cafe, I had Inca Cola and coca tea.
A ferry delivered me to Isla del Sol, the island which was the birthplace of the Incan sun god.
I hiked past the ruins of the Temple of the Sun, donkeys, sheep, llamas and Incan agricultural terraces still in use today.
This mud brick thatched home boasts location, location, location!
I turned off the trail at the village which boasts the fountain of youth, but on close inspection, decided that partaking would most likely shorten my life.
I walked down the stairs, flanked by gurgling Incan irrigation channels, with as much dignity as I could muster, given the speed with which this heavily burdened elderly villager overtook me.
The snowcapped Cordillera Real rose above the lake at the dock.