I heard of a gentlemen called Don Tomas from Isla del Sol from Marco – an adventurer from Argentina, while having some Fernet Branca in Copacabana.
Don Tomas. Un pescador. Muy loco.
And it was all I had known about the mad fisherman. And the island was huge.
After a day on the Island of the Sun, we got to know some local, so-called authentic hippies who had found the energy and the scenic beauty of Isla del Sol so strong that they had stayed there for months or even years. While sharing some coca leaves with them, the boys mentioned that they live in the island’s most crazy place – a tiny village on the other side of the hills. With only some houses, no electricity, no running water – this is the real life of Isla del Sol.
When from the coca-green lips of the hippie with wooden feet slipped a name – Don Tomas – we knew immediately where we will spend this Christmas.
After one-minute silence the legendary fisherman Don Tomas appeared with wide smile and hand stretched out long for friendly greeting.
Soon, we found the right place to get in contact with Hanaq Pacha and Uqu Pachaga (upper and lower world in Andean cosmology). It was a high rocky hill, which had the view over lake Titicaca and Peru in sunset light. With the help of the Master Plant San Pedro. And the island spoke to us.
We spent the evenings sitting around the fire with our four hippy friends, one of them with wooden legs. Drinking Argentinian herbal drink mate and talking about the most beautiful
places in South America, and whether we can wait for the moon to appear. It arrived around midnight – the full moon in all its power.
Don Tomas told us about his endless adventures: about his childhood on the island and how after the death of Che Guevara he had to deliver 74 prisoners from Vallegrande to Cuba. Of course, it was a challenge, because the prisoners were all nations of South Americans. On top of this the man had no other option but to abandon his life in Bolivia and escape to Peru for some years.
But why Isla del Sol has such a strong energy?
Without kidding, I could cut it in the air! I have had so strong dreams, and the island spoke to me. Tomas and the hippies say: temples of Incas, minerals, nearly 4 km of height, bright sun, and all the mysteries of the island.
The biggest of them tells about a gigantic holy city of Incas on the bottom of the lake. One could witness some higher peak above the surface of the water when its low tide. Another tells a story of the underwater tunnel between Isla del Sol and Isla de la Luna next to it.
Late at night, when Alvaro and Berit already slept in their room which had nothing but the poster of Che Guevara, I was chatting with one of the hippie Lissandro in his ganja-smelling room. And he gave me his player to listen to the only album he had been carrying with him since ages. It was Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon. The best Christmas gift ever. Cool-white full moon shone into our dark room. This is the memory of the best Christmas I have had. The hippiest Christmas ever.