The Tallest Woman in Town!

Tiahuanaco Travel Blog

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Outside the museum

Monday I set out by shared transport to Tiahuanco to visit the ruines. The town is about a mile from the ruines and very poor. Not many tourists appear to actually visit the town itself, but I couldn't resist.

However, I started at the museum which was interesting, but not the highlight. After walking through the building I headed to the ruines and it was like the entire place was all mine. Occassionally I would see someone in the distance, but mostly, it was quiet and alone.

The ruines are an active dig, so there are objects, walls and statues constantly being undug. Due to the poverty in the area, it is difficult to dig for any extended period of time, but I could see where they had recently been excavating the site. What used to be considered a pyramid type mountain is slowly being revealed to have steps and walls and you can clearly see structure coming to life.

Entering the Tiahuanaco ruines
I toured around the dig for over an hour before stepping into the Sunken Courtyard.

The Sunken Courtyard was so amazing. Faces of all shapes and ethnicity peering at your trek about the courtyard. The masonry on the walls was so exact that even a credit card couldnt' fit between the stones. The walls were perfect and the faces unique...each and every one of them.

I had the privilege of seeing the Sun God through the Doorway to the Sun near the winter solstace. As I looked through the doorway you could see how all of the shadows and statues line up perfectly for the one day a year to honor the sun and bring back the long days.

I bought some trinkets from some locals, then walked the short mile into the town. There was I was greeted by stares, giggles and shock.

Atop the ridge above the ruines
I kept hearing the people talking and kept hearing the same phrase and realized they were calling me "Senora la Alta" which cracked me up. Since most of the people in the town were well under 5 ft tall and I have green eyes and am over 6 feet tall, and a woman to boot, they were amazed. I found children peeking at me from around their mama's skirts. Old men following me on the street and women laughing and yelling out to me! It was not insulting in the least, as I realized that they just had never seen that tall of a woman before.

I had some delicious food, however, I didn't ask what the meat was. I know it wasn't chicken or pork, but thought it best not to ask. Whatever it was it was delicious! Along with a multitude of different types of potatoes I was stuffed to the gills.

Part of the dig archaeologist are currently working near the Sunken Courtyard

The town is extremely poor, however, the market atmosphere still exists and each town person buys from the other, having a virtual self-sustaining economy...poor, but still there. I tried to buy a few small things from locals to help out, but still had a 4 hour shared taxi ride back to La Paz and I knew it would be cramped.

Cramped is an understatement! Holy crap! No leg room and I had to hold a chicken on the way back. But it was nice.

So, Tiahuanaco was beautiful, peaceful and solitary. I am anxious to return in a few years to see how the excavation at the ruines has progressed.

My La Paz hostal room was waiting and I don't think I've slept that hard in years!

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Outside the museum
Outside the museum
Entering the Tiahuanaco ruines
Entering the Tiahuanaco ruines
Atop the ridge above the ruines
Atop the ridge above the ruines
Part of the dig archaeologist are …
Part of the dig archaeologist are…
Part of the dig
Part of the dig
An active dig
An active dig
Looking down into the Sunken Court…
Looking down into the Sunken Cour…
Heads in the Sunken Courtyard
Heads in the Sunken Courtyard
Carved heads surround the inside w…
Carved heads surround the inside …
In the distance, the sun god throu…
In the distance, the sun god thro…
Monoliths and faces surround the c…
Monoliths and faces surround the …
Sun God
Sun God
Courtyard wall build around monoli…
Courtyard wall build around monol…
Sun God
Sun God
Town of Tiahuanaco from the ruines
Town of Tiahuanaco from the ruines
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photo by: paganmom