The border crossing from Peru to Bolivia, via Puno, Copacabana and to La Paz was pretty uneventful. I had hear stories of long lines and mass confusion with changing buses and thus missing it or getting on the wrong one. But, sorry I think you have to be pretty dumb or at least extremely unobservant for that to happen to you.
About 30 minutes from the border the bus stops so you can change money. That’s handy, even though I’m sure you get a bad rate. But whatever. Than at the border you get out of the bus on the Peru side. Go to the police station first for a stamp and then to Peru immigration and give them the visitors pass you got on arrival to Peru. Walking through no mans land under an stone archway into Bolivia you get the Bolivian visa at no cost and no hassle, unless of course you are from the USA.
Back on the bus is where the fun begins. After a short journey through winding roads with the most beautiful mountain scenery I have ever seen we are told to get off the bus and buy a ticket for the ferry. It was fun to watch our bus go over the river in a barrage that might just sink at any moment as we went over in our own rickety motor boat, barely held together by rotting wood. A short ride we were in Copacabana where we had a quick stop and bus switch.
It was May 1st, so a huge festival was in town. I was tempted to stay, but I had a friend waiting for me in La Paz (Marjo), and I was islanded out.
Back on the bus the last 4 hours were awful. Although, the strike was over, farmers had left large farm machinery abandoned on the main roads, causing traffic to bypass through fields. These fields were not made for large tourists buses, driving over potholes, streams and other obstacles I was pretty certain we would tip. Especially after my mother kept voicing her concern that something would happen to me in Bolivia I was getting a little worried.