Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lake Titicaca and the end of Bolivia

I have left Bolivia but I still have a few things I'd like to share. 

A llama trying not to get hit by our bus

My last week in Bolivia was spent in Lake Titicaca and Cochabamba. Lake Titicaca is the biggest lake in South America and sits 12,500ft above sea level, making it the highest commercially navigable lake in the world. Highest commercially navigable lake? WTF? The birthplace of the Inca sun god wasn't enough? 

Isla del Sol

We spent one night on the Isla del Sol (The Island of the Sun).  The island is full of ancient Inca and Amayra ruins and is known as the spot where the Inca sun god was born. The island was a sacred site during Inca times and thousands of Incas made the journey from Bolivia and Peru to see visit it.

Lake Titicaca

Over 800 people live on the island. The majority of the families make their income catering to tourists needs and/or fishing. 

Ernesto "Che" Guevara statue in El Alto

 "Ernesto Che Guevara stayed here"

In Sucre we stayed in the same room "Che" stayed during his fatal visit to Bolivia in 1966. With the help of the CIA, the Bolivian army captured Che on October 7th, 1967 in southern Bolivia. The majority of his fellow guerrillas were killed as well. Che was shot on October 9th in the town of La Higuera. A Bolivian friend of mine says his hands were cut off to be sent to Washington, D.C. 
Che's Bolivian campaign faced a large number of setbacks. His predominately foreign group of guerrillas failed to recruit the Bolivians necessary to build a rebel movement, especially key leaders from Bolivia's Communist Party. Several Bolivians I spoke with, who were teenagers then, said Bolivia was too apathetic to the rebel cause when Che and his comrades arrived. Che had plans of a continental wide revolution.  

Ernesto "Che" Guevara is a polarizing figure. I've always been fascinated by the man and his impact on pop culture, which can't make him too happy.  

Fun Fact - Ernesto Guevara picked up the nickname "Che" while in Cuba. Che is a word used in Argentina to say "dude" or "man.".  After hearing Che use the word che so many times the cubans bestowed upon him the now famous nickname.        

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