Isla del Sol Ruins: Polko Kaina and Chincana
2 days on Isla del Sol – what to do? what to see? Why Ruins of Course!
Since it was still raining in the mornings, I stayed in and read, but at around 11:30 the sun popped its head out and I went out hiking. Since I was staying in the Southern part of the Island, I headed towards the Pilko Kaina ruins on the far South of the Island. There was quite a nice path leading through the layers of the terraces, which was not a difficult hike at all. Upon arrival, an old man was sitting guarding the Ruins, I said Happy New Years to him (as it was Jan 1st), and he showed me a stone which when hit in different spots played different sounds. He played a song for me and said this was how the Incas called eachother from far distances to meet or for other purposes. Pretty neat.
The whole way to the Ruins I met nobody, just me and the paths and a couple of sheet and donkeys. Excellent. but on the return I ran across a group of 10 people. Passing them disoriented me majorly. I walked past this house – but right afterwards recalled never having passed a house earlier, but looking down upon one. Noooooooo, I did NOT want to have to hike back UP the mountain – too. many. stairs. So I started making my way back trying to find where I went wrong. It was only one path? How could I get lost? Who knows. But I hiked straight up a few terraces until I was at a electrical pole I remembered being near, and then I saw the path. Turns out, when I crossed the group of people, they had hidden my path from me which went slightly upwards. But I found it, and I did NOT have to re-climb the 500 steps up Isla del Sol – I maintained by steady path straight across instead.
I spent the evening in a restaurant with the family talking and eating my dinner. THey were kind enough to keep me entertained as I’ve been getting pretty bored of reading when I am alone. which is frequently. So people and communicating are a nice change.
The next morning I wanted to see the North, but again the morning was rainy and I hate rain. So I waited, but by the time noon came around, the ferry North didnt run anymore and the only method for me to hike the Northern Part of the Island and see the Ruins and return to the South by Nightfall was to charter my own boat. Sounds expensive right? I think NOT. It cost me $15 for my own boat, which was HUGE, meant for 30 people, to take me to the Northern Part of the Island, stay for 4 hours, and then bring me back South. How awesome is Bolivia? Mind you, the ferry would of only cost me about $0.25…..but hey for $15 for a private charter – it is not TOO steep for even Me. And I realllllly wanted to see the Ruins.
Once in the North, I wandered around, saw the Chincana Ruins and had a splendid time in the sun. But I encountered a screaming couple. I believe they were Italian. They were full out in the midst of a screaming match. Their voices carried all the way across the entire North and everybody else was trying to figure out what was going on. I was close. I watched. It was entertaining. They would scream at eachother, then the guy would storm about 5 metres down the hill in silence, then turn around, yell some more, she would respond, and he’d come racing up yelling and her arms waving, giving a REAL performance. I sat and watched for about 10 minutes until I got bored. Later as I was returning to my boat, I saw the couple cuddling, looking out over the lake. Talk about dramatic, but thanks for the performance folks!
A day well spent on Isla del Sol