02.06.2008 - 03.06.2008 10 °C
A few days have passed since we lasted blogged. We have been very busy, hope you did not miss us too much!
On Monday we left our 5 star hotel and we joined the Dragoman group in a Hostel/Hotel. Alot of the other people on the truck have been on since Lima, some people before that. There are 5 of us joining in La Paz. There will be a total of 18 of us on the truck plus the two leaders. The Truck (Carmen) is aparently (we have not seen her yet) an 18 tonne, orange purpose built vehicle. She will be our transport and home for the next 6 weeks. I am sure you will hear more about Carmen in these blogs.
We spent Monday getting to know the other 3 travellers joining the group. We walked around the Witches Market where there was a plethora of weird and wonderful things. The most famous fare at the market is the Llama fetus. The main purpose for the dried llama fetusis to protect your home. Most homes in Bolivia have these dried llama fetus interred in the foundations of the building.
We also spent alot of time looking for blankets, hats and gloves. In the induction meeting with Dragoman we were warned it was going to get cold, very cold and snowy over the next couple of weeks. We were also warned that last years trip was stuck in Argentina for 6 days waiting to go over a very snowy pass. We are realising (see our next blog) that with overlanding you never know what is going to happen and you have to be extremly flexiable.
Yesterday we got up early and took a tour to Tiwanaku (also in spanish Tiahuanaco and Tiahuanacu). The journey took about 1.5 hours and we got to see some of the rural life in Boliva as well as some stunning views of the mountain ranges. Tiwanaku is a UNESCO world heritage site. The site of Tiwanaku was founded in approximately 1200 BCE as a small agriculturally-based village. It is recognized by scholars as one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire. The ruins of the ancient city state are near the south-eastern shore of Lake Titicaca, about 72 km (44 miles) west of La Paz. Even though much of the architecture is in a poor state of preservation it was amazing to see the monoliths and the layout of the site. There is alot of working going to to excavate the site, so hopefully in years to come there will be a better understanding of the civiliation. We has an amazing guide, who spoke great english and was obviously very well educated on the site.
Last night I ate a wonderful Llama steak, which tasted like a cross between venison and pork. I will definatly be eating that again. Chris has a grilled steak, which is my usual staple. I also has a Submarino - a glass of warm milk served with a block of chocolate. You drop the chocolate into the milk and drink - yum, yum. All this was again in the name of cultural experience.