portertravels.net/Bolivia 2007 album/Isla del Sol

Villa de la Plata

Casa de la Libertad

Plaza 25 de Mayo

Hostal Santa Cruz


Kantu Nucchu

San Felipe Neri

Castillo La Glorieta

La Recoleta

Parque Simon Bolivar

Parque Cretácico

Prevention Parade

Oruro Carnaval




Isla del Sol



Mookie Pookie

Inka Trail

Tarabuco Palm Sunday

Bolivia 2007
Photographs by Lois and Don Porter

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The launch from Copacabana deposited us at a landing just below the “Inca Palace” at Pilcocaina, near the southern tip of Isla del Sol. As we climbed up into the ruins we found a group performing a Cha’lla ritual blessing a potato field adjoining the ruins. We were invited to participate in the ceremony. Seeds and herbs that had been blessed were placed in a paper wrapping and burned over a sacrificial fire. Plants, fruits, etc. were gathered on a carpet and wine was poured into a cup. Then each person, draped with ribbons around the neck, used a flower dipped in the wine cup to shake drops on the potatoes and other plants. A decorated flag was on a pole in the potato field, and one of the islanders at one point pulled up the pole and swung it around, waving the flag. The curled ribbon decorated the potato plants, the first harvest plants were dug up, and the potatoes blessed for use as seeds. Fruits were returned to the earth in the spot where the potatoes were dug up, in gratitude to Pachamama (Mother Earth). After the ceremony, we climbed (!) up to the ridge near Cerro Keńhuani (some 200 meters above the lake, which is at 3810 meters = 12,500 feet above sea level). We had nice views of the Isla de la Luna to the east. We saw other groups conducting similar Cha’lla ceremonies in fields along the way.

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