A quiet place to work on your book or screenplay.
Or simply to have a Bolivian experience.
Wendy is in the process of building cabins for writers interested in a reasonably priced place to stay while working on their projects.
The cabins also will be available to (non-writing) travelers, based on availability.
The first cabin is slated to be completed by February 1, 2017. There is a special introductory price of $65 per night for this basic cabin. For more information, scroll down below.
In the future, luxury two-story loft-style cabins are in the works.
Sign up to Wendy's newsletter by clicking on Contact in the menu above. Or write to Wendy at writerwendydale at gmail dot com. Before you arrive, I suggest you read my guide to Copacabana.
The view from the loft-style bed in the "basic" cabin: The cobalt waters of Lake Titicaca.
Or maybe they're cerulean. Cornflower blue?
What the cabins look like thus far...
I had every intention to finish up the cabins long before now, but a broken ankle (mine) has put us four months off schedule. Things are still progressing, but at a slow, ambling rate. Here are a few pics of what the cabins are looking like thus far...
"Challando": Requesting a blessing from the Andean Earth Mother, Pachamama
Just a quick glimpse of what it takes to get the roof put on your house in Bolivia: my friends in Copacabana insisted that we couldn't continue construction without first making a tribute to Pachamama, the Andean version of Mother Earth.
As best I understand this, the custom consists of hanging flowers in windows and pouring beer on just about everything. When Doña Matilde, my dear friend and "comadre," starting dousing a pile of nails with beer, I was told, "This is to make sure that you never run out of nails." And then we also doused our insides with beer, which I'm not quite sure how to interpret. In the end, I was told that Pachamama was happy, which means we got to continue work on our cabins.
The basic cabin includes:
- A double bed, loft-style. You access your "bedroom" from a ladder at ground level.
- A private bathroom. The shower is heated by electricity and to be honest, the water pressure isn't great. You're paying $65 a night for your accommodations, so I don't really feel terrible about this. (In the next couple of years, as infrastructure improves, we hope to put a water heater in the cabin. At the moment, having natural gas piped into your home is still a relatively new thing in Copacabana.) Also there's no hot water in the bathroom sink. Again, this is an infrastructure problem. A splash of cold water on your face in the morning? Great for feeling completely awake.
- A television and DVD player with a selection of movies. In the future, we plan to offer cable TV, though I can't imagine that watching Chilean sitcoms is your idea of a great television experience.
- Wi-fi internet with access to Netflix on your computer. The internet connection is pretty decent (and it actually works the great majority of the time). When I asked the saleswoman how fast exactly, she told me "Really fast." I know that's not extremely helpful, but this is the internet connection I use at home and it works for Skype calls, youtube videos in HD and Netflix viewing. The only catch is that I get charged by the MB, which means I need to charge you the same price the internet company charges me. I usually spend around a dollar a day when I'm in front of the computer for hours, checking gmail and Facebook and doing internet research. If you want to watch Netflix on your laptop, it's around a dollar per hour. I'm happy to give you my Netflix password (your foreign account won't work in Bolivia). Just so you know, we make zero profit off of charging you for internet. You only pay what the internet company charges us. And you can check your charges at any moment by going to an on-line page that you'll have access to.
- Coffee in the morning that you make yourself. We offer Bolivian coffee grounds and an espresso machine. Please bring your own coffee grounds if you're a connoisseur. We're happy to provide basic Bolivian coffee, which should fulfill your caffeine requirements, but if you require something tastier than what's available here, you're on your own. I mean that in a nice way, not in a menacing your-coffee-is-going-to-suck way. We also offer cups and spoons and sugar. (If you want milk or stevia for your coffee, they are available for a small cost from your mini-fridge.)
- A microwave. Handy for reheating takeout or for nuking one of the entrees from your mini-fridge.
- A mini-fridge. It's stocked with fruits, soft drinks and bottled water. Mini-fridge costs are calculated separately and are not included as part of your lodging bill (though we're not going to stiff you like other hotels). We may include other snack items in the fridge such as homemade hummus, pasta dishes, cheese platters or other entrees. If this appeals to you, please complete the following three-questions prior to your arrival to give us an idea of your food preferences.
- A mini-bar. This includes a selection of several hard liquors, including singani, the traditional drink of Bolivia. You'll also have access to a small selection of red and white wines from Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Price list is available in your cabin. Also if you are a non-drinker and prefer to have your mini-bar removed prior to your arrival, we are happy to comply.
- Room service. In your cabin you'll find a list of menu items available from restaurants around town. You tell us what you'd like to order and we get it to your cabin in less than an hour (hopefully way less).
- A cell phone. This is a cheapo phone that you can use to receive free calls from home (free on your end anyway). This way you have a Bolivian number to make calls with as well. (You pay the cost of calls made to numbers in Bolivia, but it's very inexpensive.) You can also use the cell phone to call me if you have a problem, a question, or would like to place a room-service order.
- A propane heater for your room. Effective and quick to heat up the entire cabin. Though please turn it off before you leave the premises or go to sleep.
- Access to a bicycle. You may find having a bike a great way to get around. Keep in mind that Copacabana is hilly and you may have to walk your bike up some of those inclines. Also, most of the roads on the "Bolivian side of town" have yet to be paved and there are not always street lights. Please lock up the bike when you take it out for a spin. We'll provide you with a cable and padlock.
In the future, the button above will take you to a reservation page. At the moment, it doesn't do anything. That sucks. I'm sorry. Please keep in mind that we're building the cabins as fast as we can.
Here are some images from the first days of construction.
I think the idea of building a cabin entirely from mud is very cool (yes, call it adobe if you like, but it's basically dirt, straw, and water.)