The Ruins of Tiwanaku

Even though it’s Cinco de Mayo in Mexico (and the U.S.), it’s just an ordinary Tuesday here in La Paz. We set off again in our van to explore some of the most important archeological ruins in Bolivia; the ceremonial city of Tiwanaku, and the Pumapunku temple complex. Both sites are about a two-hour drive out of La Paz, which again took us through the sprawling mass of Los Altos.

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Tiwanaku & Puma Punku 18

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When we first arrived at the Tiwanaku site, we toured the Lytic Museum and the Ceramic Museum, which together contain the remaining artifacts of the ancient Aymara culture which pre-dated the Incans back to about 600 B.C. Then we toured the actual site of the city complex if Tiwanaku which was home to about 70,000 people at it height. The city is marvelously designed, and featured not only beautifully carved stone monoliths, but also a very sophisticated underground aqueduct system. Yes, Jim was very intrigued!!!!!

Tiwanaku & Puma Punku 17

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We then drove a short distance to the Pumapunku complex, and walked around photographing the site. I’m trying to keep the number of stone photos to a minimum, but really, this is what it was all about.An interesting aside is that we actually saw wild guinea pigs living in the ruins at this site.  They proved to be elusive little puppies, so no photos of them!

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Then followed our ride back to the city of La Paz. The highlight of the day for Jim was that rather than fighting rush hour traffic back into the city, our guide, Pedro, gave us a ride on the newly installed cable car (teleférico) system which was just completed about a year ago. Currently, they only have two lines; the red line, which roughly runs from the top of the altiplano near the airport to the bottom center of the city and back up the opposite side; and the green line, which runs across the city from the Killi Killi lookout area, all the way to the far lower end of the city. The wild thing is that the cable cars go right over countless homes, rich and poor alike.

Tiwanaku & Puma Punku 1

Teleferico ride 2Teleferico ride 1 Teleferico ride 3

Tomorrow, we fly to Bogotá to begin our tour of Colombia. Stay tuned, dear Reader; it promises to be very interesting.

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