Isla del Sol
The stairs up to the hostel, Inti Kala (situated on the very top of Isla del Sol) kills me. The whole island can probably hear me breathing. I’m sweating and I start to regret that I put on four layers of clothing this morning. Why Mag and Pawel didn’t you choose a hostel further down, closer to the harbour? They are up there waiting for me so I have no choice than to walk these awful stairs.
I must say however, the walk up is one of the most beautiful ones. The surrounding lake Titicaca glitters, the water is so blue and shimmers like silver in the sun. Snow-covered mountains rise up on the horizon. And Isla del Sol itself looks unreal, old farming terraces from the Incas cover the whole island. It’s like taking a step back in time as many of the houses are, still today, made of mud. Here are no cars and no real roads, except from walking trails. A reason why here are so many donkeys and alpacas.
An old lady who looks like a doll, in those for Bolivia typical traditional bright coloured clothes (many layers of patterned scarfs, a wide green silk skirt, a big round hat, braids) passes me. She looks at me, smiles. I can make a bet she’s thinking “seriously that girl has to exercise more.” She looks unaffected by the stairs. I’m so exhausted! If it’s because we’re 5000 meter up or if it’s because of the fact that I’ve spend the last three months in front of a computer I’m not sure. I wish I had some coca leafs left (they do work for high altitudes) but I left them behind in La Paz.
– Do you need help to carry. I’m strooong!
Rodrigo, ten years old, offers me to carry my bags. He’s been sitting waiting for us tourists to arrive in the harbour. Of course I say no.
– It’s free, I’m from the hostel! From Inti Kala!
Well, I’m not gonna let a ten year old kid carry my stuff no matter if it’s for free. So I say “no gracias” again. Rodrigo nods.
– Ok, but I’m from the hostel so I’ll show you the way anyway!
Apparently Rodrigo walks (climbs?) these stairs two times every day!
– Only twenty minutes left!
Only twenty minutes? I decide to take a break, sip some water. I sit down and look out at the view. Again, here’s so beautiful. This is one of those places where I understand why I travel, why I decide to go with those 20-hours buses and why I choose cheap backpacking bed bugs hostels instead of staying in my comfortable apartment back home (or at least in the apartment I rent in Santiago).
I just wish I was gonna stay here for more than a day.