Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
restinthiscity,andwhenthehorsesandmyselfhadfullyrecuperatedItookleaveofmymany
friends and acquaintances, and soon we were winding our way up the steep slopes. When we
came to the place whence I had first seen La Paz I once more stopped to have a final look at
the city where I had spent some delightful days.
Titicaca, the Sacred Lake
WewereagainontheplainsaboveLaPazandtrottingalongthestraightroadtowardsViacha.
Our stay in the capital now seemed like a pleasant dream that had come to a sudden end,
but this was part of the game, and so I fought against the softer sentiments within me. I re-
membered that self-pity is useless and foolish, and when I observed how happily the horses
jogged along I tried to follow their example and take things as they came, and soon my mind
wasfixedononeobject,toconquerthetwonextmainrangesoftheAndesandtoreachthePa-
cific Ocean! I felt annoyed for having been 'soft,' and urged the horses on faster, but Mancha,
insteadofobeyingmyheels,turnedhisheadroundandlookedatmewithoneeyeandseemed
to be telling me, 'Now then, old boy, what's all that about? Give us a chance,' and he contin-
ued in his regular and rhythmical jog-trot, his head slightly moving up and down with every
stride, as if he were saying to himself, 'Yes, we'll do it,' and the loose bridles were swinging
from side to side like the pendulum of a clock, and alongside us faithful old Gato loped along
with the pack. He, too, was game to follow wherever I happened to go.
WithoutstoppingatViachawecontinuedinthedirectionofLakeTiticaca,andintheeven-
ing we halted at a hacienda (farm) that belonged to a friend of mine in La Paz. The man in
charge happened to be absent, and as none of the Indians who were there could understand
Spanish, I had no end of difficulty in making myself understood by gesticulating and jabber-
ing. However, I was finally admitted and given a cowhide on which to spread my bed on the
dirt floor in a room where several Indians slept.
Nearing the famous mountain lake we passed the pre-historic ruins of Tiahuanaco (or Ti-
ahuanac├║), a relic of the past I had been looking forward to seeing.
Todaythereisnotmuchleftofwhatwasonceacolossaltemple,exceptingenormousstone
pillars which stand in rows, and one of the big, grotesque monoliths (stone idols) which were
adored by the ancients. The puerta del sol (gate of the sun), with its remarkable carvings,
stands in a perfect state of preservation, and at the western extremity there is an enormous
one-piece block in which steps were hewn; probably the main entrance of the temple. In the
close vicinity there are other remains of what probably was a temple or palace, and these are
locally called el palado del Inca . One of the carved stone blocks in the latter ruins measures
some 25 by 18 feet, and has a thickness of roughly 4┬Ż feet.
Search WWH ::




Custom Search