Ahmad: We had assumed that we were getting a local bus to Cocacabana but discovered on arrival at the bus station that we were on a tourist bus.
We got onto the bus (which was very comfortable) and before we knew it we were at a large river, we were told to get off the bus and onto a small ferry to cross the river. The bus in the meantime was loaded onto a large boat to be sailed across the river (very comical to watch). Once the bus and our large rucksacks were safely across the river we re-boarded the bus and in an hour were at Lake Titicaca.
We quickly found a hostel (£6 for a double room with a private bathroom) and chilled out for the remainder of the day.
Cocacabana is smallish town that exists purely for tourists (foreign and local). It’s a pleasant place but there is very little to do or see, though Lake Titicaca itself is stunning.
The next morning we decided that a little pre-Inca trail training was in order and decided to climb Cerra Calvario (a large hill / small mountain). We got to the beginning of the trail and started our ascent. It took over an hour to climb and Laura really struggled all the way up (cursing and complaining about how much she hates hiking). The struggle was definitely worth it as the view of the lake from the top of the mountain was incredible.
After climbing down Cerra Calvario we found a restaurant to have lunch (Pension Aransaya), a three course meal (consisting of soup, meat and rice followed by a small pot of custard) came to a total of £1.50 each. We later discovered that Pension Aransaya is listed in the Lonely Planet (LP). This is only the second time on our entire trip that a recommended restaurant in the LP has actually been any good.
After lunch we walked to an ancient Inca astronomical observatory, this was a climb up a large hill (good training) where got some more stunning views of the town as well as the lake.
The following day we repeated our climb of Cerra Calvario (Laura found it much easier this time) and after lunch in the same restaurant we spent the afternoon walking around the lake shore (where Laura was attacked by a duck). In the evening we had a two course dinner (for £2 each) and then went to bed.
We checked out of our hotel the next day and wandered around the main church. After lunch (again at the same restaurant) we got on the bus for Cusco.