Image for Entry 1196558659 The minibuses to Tiahuanaco are way up a hill. I don't blame the minibus companies for it because the streets below are packed solid with cars getting up the hill, so walking to the station was probably quicker than going in a vehicle.

Tiahuanaco is the most important archaeological complex in Bolivia. It's about 1.5 hours from La Paz, close to Lake Titicaca. The Tiahuanaco culture lasted for quite a while. From what I can tell, what caused their demise is still a mystery.

The ruins had temples and pyramids as well as carved stone monoliths. The stone carvings we saw seemed to all be humans but with very stylized faces.

There were 3 monoliths in the ruins. All represented figures holding something in each hand. They had interesting patterns carved into their clothing. There was a cool sunken temple with all the walls lined with stone heads (though many of the faces were too eroded to know for sure that they were heads).

Other areas of the ruins contained stones carved with more abstract patterns.

There were also a couple stone doorways, one which had an interesting sun figure (I think) carved in the top.

The area where the ruins were was flat antiplano, but in the distance were hills and mountains. Also, in the distance were thunderclouds and we were rained on now and then as we explored the ruins. The complex consisted of a very minimalist stone museum (containing a monolith and a couple other stone items); the main ruins complex with the ruins of a pyramid and several temples; a more in depth museum with chronological examples of ceramics, stone, and bronze; and the ruins of another pyramid, Puma Punka.

The whole area looked like it is still being excavated.

We caught a minibus back to La Paz. As we reached the hill overlooking the city, Rowshan saw that the mountains were sort of visible so we jumped out so he could take some photos.

Then we walked down to the city--a long walk which as we got closer to the center ended up taking us through packed market streets including a Christmas market. It's odd to think it is December. Thee isn't the overload of decorations everywhere like in San Diego. And... it is summer here.

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