A few weeks ago I posted what had been my travel experience on April 27 on King’s Day in Amsterdam, Holland. Well, when I was planning with Flor (of “The girl from Lima and the girl from Puno” history) the trip to her land, she suggested that I should coincide with the 6th of August, Bolivia’s national day, and because of my previous experience, I did hesitate one second.
I must admit that there were customs that I found very peculiar. After seeing Titicaca the night before and feeling an indescribable peace and tranquility, the next day was far from experiencing something similar. When Flor’s husband mentioned that we should ‘queue’ to enter, I honestly did not understand. Bolivian control apparently does not like to get up early and opens at 8 am, so the cars between the night before and that time make a ‘queue’ to be able to cross the border the next day.
We arrived at Yunguyo village before 6am to make the famous ‘queu’ and it was not before 11am that we finally got to pass the border. Five hours, yes, FIVE HOURS !!! During our wait there were a lot of people selling candles and decorations for the car.
But it was worth the wait when I finally arrived at the ‘Bolivian beach’. From the famous ‘queu’ cars were adorned and the loud music with beer boxes was the typical ambience of the place. I did not think jet skis and boats would be part of the scene.
We left the car and then we had to climb the mountain that had the name of ‘El Calvario’ (The Calvary). At more than 3800 m.s.n.m. is a little difficult as you will understand, but the little shops and the fireworks made the climb pleasant. When I reached the top, I understood why they sold candles at the entrance (see photos), and that when they sold cars and houses it was not to play monopoly with my nephew, but it was to offer it to the Virgin of Copacabana and that this year she would be responsible for granting it. Flor and her family ‘bought a piece of land’ that the master of the photo had separated from the previous day, and after buying the indicated house with the rest of the goods that were wanted to have this year, began the ritual. As I was assigned as a godmother, I had to buy the local beer to ‘challar’. Finished this ritual we sealed it with incense, buying beers again and challenging again to finish the rite.
When we went down ‘El Calvario’ we bought some souvenirs, and on the way to the main square, we could not miss the fried trout and the fried cheese. The Copacabana church in white, stood out in the city. On leaving, we could see the sunset of Lake Titicaca that crowned the visit.
What I could not miss however was my picture with the llama. And almost, she gave me a kiss.
Upon returning to Peruvian territory, I knew that I wanted to know a little more about the neighboring country, which (although they wanted to deport me) I did not regret visiting.
That, in the next story of the pink suitcase. Walking around the capital: La Paz.