Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tiwanaku - Incredible ruins

We left our belongings in the storage room at the hostel, and checked out.  We were told that if you take a cab to the main cemetery in town, you will find a ton of collectivo vans that are heading to Tiwanaku.  The cab driver dropped us off at another location, not sure exactly where, ripped us off, and we were a little lost...

We found a travel agency office on a random side street that was offering Tiwanaku tours.  The guy inside was really nice, but told us there were no collectivos at the cemetery, and if we wanted to go, it would have to be through him, of course...Still don't know if this is true or not...

We had to wait an hour for his brother in the van to come get us...Then of course, we waited for more passengers...

A girl came for a ride, and the 3 of us were off...Once on the highway, and heading out of town, the van pulls over, and the driver climbs up onto the roof next to a big outdoor market, and starts yelling "TIWANAKU" as loud as he can for 25 minutes.  Sure enough, he gets some customers, and we fill the van.

About an hour and 15 minutes later, we were in the town of Tiwanaku, and got dropped off.  He said he'd return at 4:30 to pick us back up.

The site:

Unbelievable place!  I had been very interested in it since I had seen it on some documentaries a while back, and like Machu Picchu and Nazca, we couldn't really believe we were actually here!

A little history:

Tiwanaku, or Tiahuanaco,  is an archaeological site in Northern Bolivia, that dates back some 13,000 years.  It was home to a Pre-Incan people, who used some incredible methods of rock carving, and of course placement.  The site, while still not fully excavated, is home to 2 pyramids, some arch gateways, incredible rock walls, and monoliths.  Very impressive place to visit, and it's fairly cheap to get in; $80 Bolivianos.  There's also 2 museums onsite, and you basically have the run of the place to check it all out...

I'd seen documentaries on it, but it was unbelievable being there...It would be almost impossible for us to cut stone today like they did here...It leaves me thinking that, once again, we are extremely in the dark about our own history...





"Gateway of the sun"







After our awesome visit, it was back in the collectivo to La Paz, and just enough time to grab a bite to eat, grab our stuff from the hostel, and jump on a night bus to Sucre, aboard El Dorado...