Visit to Copacabana, Bolivia!

We had some trouble getting back from La Paz to Cusco due to the transportation strike in Cusco last week, so we spent a day in Copacabana waiting for the next bus back to Cusco. In my opinion this was the best part of our trip to Bolivia. Copacabana is a touristy spot on lake Titicaca, with fantastic scenery and a lot of laid-back little bars and cafes. We took a nice boat trip on lake Titicaca and visited the “Isla del Sol” where you have great views of the lake and surrounding mountains. The same afternoon we crossed the border back into Peru and took the bus back to Cusco…

– Ward Welvaert

Visit to La Paz, Bolivia

We made a trip to Bolivia last week to pick up my new Peruvian visa at the Peruvian consulate in La Paz. Archaic government rules mean that a visa typically grants permission to travel to a country, so in most cases you have to pick it up outside of the issuing country.

We took advantage of the opportunity to take a little vacation, stopping in La Paz, Copacabana (Bolivia) and Puno (Peru). La Paz is a fairly typical large Latin American city, located in a canyon made by the Rio Choqueyapu. The center of the city is at an elevation of over 3,600 meter (~12,000 feet) above sea level, but the outskirts of the city reach over 4,000 meter (13,000 feet) in El Alto. I’m not a huge fan of big cities, so I enjoyed Copacabana more than La Paz.

In Bolivia poverty is more visible and widespread than in Peru, and right now there is also civil unrest between the middle class and the poorer ethnic Indian population. La Paz is a stronghold of support for the ethnic Indian president Evo Morales, while the richer cities in Bolivia such as Santa Cruz are more opposed to him. Support for “Evo” is very visible in La Paz, on billboards, grafitti and public demonstrations.

– Ward Welvaert

Dual nationality mutts.

Roxy and Manchita were strays that decided to move in with us in NC. Roxy is some type of Jack Russell mix and Manchi looks like a blue Pitbull mix. Being that they are extremely attached to us, and they’re good dogs, we decided to move them to Peru with us. That was actually a pretty easy process: pay the vet in NC, the state of NC, the airlines, the Peruvian department of agriculture, and about $500 later we were happily moved to Peru. The best part of the trip for them was when they got to stay at the Sheraton Miami because our flight, which was supposed to leave at midnight, was delayed for 7+ hours. With time to spare, travel by air, ruff!!

Manchita got sick a month or so after moving to Cusco. Might have been the altitude (10,300 ft) or climate that she had to get used to. Either way, Patricia put this cute sweater on her for a while after that!

Manchita in sweater.

Roxy, in our bed.

Update: see the comments for additional info on how to move dogs from the US to Peru.