[Aside – Now don’t do what I did and get this place confused with Brazil. In Rio, the two famous beaches are Ipanema (as in the classic song, the girl from Ipanema), and Copacabana. While the beach in Rio is without a doubt the more internationally famous of the two, it was named after the Copacabana in Bolivia.]
Lake Titicaca, besides having a phonetically hilarious name, is the highest lake in the world of its size. Yeah, it sits at 3,812 meters – aka, you can barely walk up a flight of stairs without heaving, huffing, puffing, and feeling like you need to vom. And it’s huge – 58,000 square km. Titicaca was a place of sacred and religious importance to the Incas, and after being there I can see why. This place is beyond beautiful. Green, boulder speckled mountains stand like sentinels, protecting the sacred waters, which have more shades of blue than an assorted pack of 200 Crayola crayons.
Team Mongrel – minus Amber, who went to Santa Cruz – met up for the last time here, and ate more lake trout than was healthy. We hiked up the hill to the lookout with wine and Doritos (elevation made it take at least twice as long as it should have), played some more Perudo, had beers on the waterfront, got shushed at dinner for talking about our bowel movements too loudly, and generally had just a shitty time. Because it was the low season, hotel rooms cost us a solid $6 per person, with views of the lake and central location to the best restaurants. Debatably the nicest place that the Mongrels saw together.
It now makes sense to me why Brazil decided to steal the name of this stunning lakeside resort to name one of their most beautiful beaches.