Day 22 – Is Isla del Sol a sunburn trap?

Armed with just enough luggage for a one night trip, we checked out of our hostel and caught a boat to Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun) where we were planning to stay for one night before returning back to the hostel. Isla del Sol is a tiny island on Lake Titicaca with a number of historical sites for tourists to visit. I think a lot of travellers do this so most hostels tend to have a luggage room where they are happy to keep your things until your return, as long as you book to stay with them when you come back.

The boat trip took around 2 hours and we got dropped off at the pier on the north of the island. The plan was to walk south from the north of the island until we reached the middle of the island where we will probably try to find a place to stay. The boat was quite small but you could sit on the roof if you wanted to catch some sun. We opted to sit at the bottom as it was a bit windy at the top. The water was so calm and made for quite a nice little boat road. The scenery was also very picturesque with snow capped mountains in view. This was also helped by the fact that there was not a single cloud in the sky. Just pure sunshine though the altitude still makes it feel quite cool.

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Snow capped mountains against the backdrop of Isla del Sol

Once we arrived we headed towards a nearby historical site where we could explore the remains of an Incan building.

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Exploring an Incan site on Isla del Sol

After, we headed south. On the way we stopped at a few more sites. The route was fairly quiet (im not sure whether it was low season) but we did pass a few other travellers. We saw one guy who was carrying his guitar with him. I don’t really understand why some backpackers bring their guitar with them. Its bad enough having to carry your backpack on its own but a guitar as well?! Wasted energy. I think they just want to look cool. Anyway, rant over.

We actually got pretty hot on the walk even though we were at altitude. Even though the sun was beaming down, whenever we walked past bits of shade there would sometimes be patches of ice which just can not melt as the sun isn’t able to creep towards them. Pretty weird. Guess it shows the difference in temperature in the sun and in the shade.

When we got to the south/middle of the island (after about a good 6 hours of walking), we managed to find a little guesthouse to stay at. All the hostels seemed very basic, and I mean basic – no electricity or flushing toilet. It was only for one night so we didn’t mind roughing it. On the plus side, the hostel was situated on the top of a cliff edge and there were deck chairs for your use to relax on the edge providing a great view of the sunset.

Relaxing in the deck chairs on the cliff edge

When we got back to our room, I turned around and noticed how sunburnt John was. His entire face and the back of his legs were so red! After I mentioned it to him, he was like “oh yeah, it does hurt quite a bit”. I was also sunburnt, but only on my nose! We probably should have put some suncream on. The name of the island should have been the biggest hint really.  This is the first time on this trip that either of us have got sunburnt and what better place for this to happen than Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun).

In the evening, either there was no electricity on the island or the generator was out. We left just before it go too dark and managed to find a cute little restaurant with about 3 tables. The only source of light came from a single candle in the middle of our table. There was a very limited menu but we weren’t too bothered. We were the only two in there and service was quite slow but we didn’t complain. It’s not like there was anything else to do on the island! It was pitch black outside. The food eventually arrived and it was okay. The food was simple but then you’ve got to remember that these people are running a business on a remote island. It has to be simple.

After dinner, we headed back to the hostel. As soon as we stepped outside, you could see millions of stars in the sky. The sky was so clear. It really was very beautiful but we couldn’t stay outside staring for too long as it the temperature had dropped dramatically compared to the day.

Lots of stars, no electricity and a vert burnt John.

About Julia Chan

I’m Julia and I've just returned from the adventure of my life. I went travelling around South America, the South Pacific and South East Asia for 12 months, and I'd do it all over again if I could! Julia on Google+
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