Isla Del Sol: southern ruins
Took about two hours to ride the long but pleasant ferry from Copacabana to Isla Del Sol ("Island of the Sun") this afternoon. Once we reached the island, we were given a guided tour — after, of course, repeatedly insisting "no queremos un guia" (lit: "we don't want a guide") — of the nearby southern ruins. Nothing spectacular, but a nice, relaxed introduction to the island.
The southern end of Isla Del Sol, and the mainland beyond.
Apparently, Bolivians don't understand the concept of letting tourists choose to not have a guide. When you're on the boat to the island, you decline the offer of a guide. When you get to the island, you decline the offers of the hordes of locals waiting to guide you. And when you just walk off and start exploring by yourself, about 5 local kids start walking next to you, "guiding" you; until eventually, you give up and let one of them actually show you around. But it's nice that they're not pushy or anything :P.
Anyway, the ruins at the southern end of Isla Del Sol are the less spectacular ones — just a few old houses, really ("pre-inca", apparently) — but they're still worth having a look at.
Sun shining through a pre-inca window.
You also get spectacular views on the walk to the ruins — especially of the massive overhead power lines that connect Isla Del Sol to the mainland, and which I astutely noted were: "a reminder of man's ability to generate electricity". Not sure if the power lines are also pre-inca.
Would also be really cool to turn these into a giant flying-fox tourist attraction. BYO rubber gloves.
Chris and I explored the southern ruins with a German bird that we met on the boat. Can't remember her name, but — and I know this really narrows it down! — she was blonde, wearing "gringo alpaca" gear, and heavily smoking. After the tour, she got a boat straight back to Copacabana, as she wants to get straight on to Puno tonight.