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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

9 June 2011

Cunning artificers

7th June 2011

Everyone has heard of the Incas, right? Yet their civilisation only started in the 13th century and lasted two hundred years or so before the Spanish dropped on them from a great height in the 16th. The Tiwanaku civilisation pre-dates the Incas and managed to last over 2000 years before failing in the 12th century or so.

Today we took a tour to Tiwanaku. Bit of a departure for us, we’d usually get there independently and poke around for ourselves. Instead we shared a minibus with five other tourists and had an excellent guide called Edwin. Lucky we did really, as the site itself isn’t spectacular or particularly extensive like Angkor or Macchu Picchu and so we’d have felt a bit aimless wandering alone. Information plaques or audio-guides? C’mon, this is Bolivia.

The single most impressive thing we saw were the stone blocks in the larger, and largely un-excavated, temple to the west of the site. The stonework is absolutely perfect, square edges and flat surfaces without the slightest mark of tooling. It’s very easy to see why any number of crackpots believe this is evidence of alien influence or the magical civilisation of Atlantis. Apparently they still aren’t entirely sure how it was done, but sand and water and lots of patience were probably involved.

From one of our fellow tourists we also learned that the border crossing to Peru has been closed a lot lately, opening only sporadically. My fingers are firmly crossed for the day after tomorrow.

2 Responses to “Cunning artificers”

  1. Dan says:

    Crackpots, how dare you….can you not see these were lazer cut by alien phazers…and look at that little chap just over the doorway…if thats not a sculpture of an alien being, then im the brother of a greater spotted wombat!!!!

    Oh and happy to see ya didnt get buried in ash :D

    Looking forward to your return soon – missing you both

    Take care and enjoy the final leg of your adventure.

    • shortclaws says:

      Thanks Dan. South America is shaping up to be a good leg – well, with gnarly bits like anywhere else (see latest blogs!), but mostly good.

      And tomorrow we go up to the alien mothership landing site at Machu Picchu, so we’ll see if it’s as splendid as everyone claims.

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