Tiwanaku Ruins, Bolivia

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I first read about Tiwanaku while planning on La Paz. My Footprint travel guide
dedicated an entire page describing how important it is both historically and
architecturally. After reading it I felt it probably is worth a day trip from La Paz.
Then that night when I arrived La Paz, I met this Mexican girl Lily in my hotel
who is an archeologist studying at Tiwanaku. Though I could only understand a
fraction of her Spanish, Lily’s fascination with the ruins pretty much sold it to me.

Since it was too late for me to find a tour group from La Paz, following Lily’s
advice, I got on a public minivan and got to this ruin in pouring rain the next
morning. I remember that day well: the earth was drenched and the air went
chilling. After getting my ticket, I ran across the mud to a big building next to the
ruins and waited for more people to form an English-speaking tour group.  As
soon as I sat my feet in the tourist office building, I was being approached by
several Bolivian guides; after negotiating with them I figured that I need 5 other
people to be able to afford a guide at a reasonable price. There was next to no
one besides me and a Spanish-speaking Argentinian girl who got off the bus with
me; she was also looking for 5 other Spanish speakers.

Fortunately, I found the building is actually a museum about the ruins. So I spent
quite a while perusing over each artifact in the museum display while waiting for
some more people to show up. I finally bumped into a Spanish speaking group
doubled as an English speaking group since one of their customers is actually an
English speaker; they happily took me in. I had a lot of fun with these five people
– mostly Argentinians and Chileans. A Chilean girl told us she just had a brain
surgery 3 months ago and now she could climb Andes and travel like others –
technology these days…. I ended up paying the guide a tip and they gave me a
ride back to La Paz as well.

From Tiwanaku Ruins, Bolivia, posted by Jenny Zheng on 8/08/2012 (89 items)

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