February 28th, 2008 – by: sissanoel
Giant monolith at Tiwanaku.
Had a long day of touring today, collected from our hotel at 8.30am for a two hour drive on very rough roads out to the archaeological site of Tiwanaku
, considered to be the most important in Bolivia. First stop was at the two musuems, where we saw lots of excavated pottery artefacts, a massive stone monolith set up in its own mini temple, a mummy without skin and a collection of heads with strange shaped foreheads and trepanned holes. The guide pointed out the faces on many of the pottery pieces, and their similarities to pictures on Egyptian and Chinese works, indicating a close connection between the cultures at the time. We then had a walk around the actual site, which is still being excavated and is pretty big, even though only 12% of the temple complex remains.
Water created rock formations at Moon Valley, La Paz.
The locals hope to rebuild the site within 15 years, with the rebuild work being in adobe and the original using the old stones. Melissa seemed to suffer a bit of altitude sickness here for some reason, very weak and unable to get enough breath - her fingers even went blue! Not a nice sensation, but seemed to right itself by the afternoon. We had lunch in a local tourist restaurant - not bad but three times the price of our meal yesterday for half the food! Went back to La Paz
via a different road and got some great views of the city and also back over Lake Titicaca through the altiplano. We drove through some very swish areas of La Paz to get to the Moon Valley, lots of big houses with walled gardens, much less traffic and a completely different feeling to the chaos of where we´re staying. The Moon Valley is a whole area of rock formations made via water erosion of the hills, a big problem for La Paz even today. It is sited next to the world´s highest golf course - lots of world´s highest things here! After a quick clean-up at the hotel, we went out to dinner at a Cuban restaurant nearby with a few of the group and our new leader. Great food, great drink, great prices - very enjoyable evening.