Cuphut

Day 101 - Copacabana

It may have fallen short of outright murder but manslaughter might have been on the charge sheet if we hadn't released the old man from his duties. An impromptu, rudimentary and seemingly insurmountable roadblock had seen us halted in a little tumbleweed town on the Peruvian-Bolivian border. Around 50 people stood in the road a quarter of a mile ahead of the ever-growing convoy of lorries and minibuses. I strolled under the dry sun to their fleshy barricade. Debate calmly and unhurriedly continued as the reassuring sight of a police car formed in the distance. The crowd calmly and unhurriedly parted as if Moses himself was driving and reformed again behind the unfussed and departing officers. Eventually some maverick among our fellow passengers suggested taking the road around the unfathomable hindrance. And so it was we were deposited next to an wisened old Bolivian a kilometre or so from the border. How bad I felt as he struggled up the hill having had his fare negotiated down to a pittance, his pedal rickshaw slowing as his wheezing grew ever faster. About halfway through the journey we thanked him for his labours, tipped and hopped off.
We sat in front of the setting sun on Lake Titicaca eating a second identical burger provided courtesy of the fact that 'dos mas' is, it seems, an ambiguous request that can as well apply to dinner as it can to beer. My travelling companion held court on the simplicity of manning sailboats and insisted we should rent one the very next day. The former Sea Cadet assured me we'd not get lost due to the fact that boats have 'udders' by which one steers (or dictates the direction you want the boat to moove). He seemed less certain of his seaworthiness a couple of days later as we rocked uncertainly across a slender stretch of the lake on our way to the world's highest capital.

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