Saturday, December 15, 2007

San Agustin

Our Tepee

San Agustin is a small town in an area inhabited by a mysterious collection of stone statues left by an even more mysterious civilisation. We arrived via an inordinately bumpy road- our seats performed distressing impressions of catapults as the bus stumbled for five hours in first gear down the cratered mountain pass. The last leg was covered in the back of a ute, and I discovered that I have developed a slight phobia of this kind of travel, undoubtedly a result of my birthday mishap in the Ecuadorian milk truck.

We made it into town without falling out and found our hotel at the top of a murderously steep mud hill. It was a simply horrible journey that managed to encompass the worst aspects of travel, but, as is usual in Colombia, the scenery was fantastic. Retiring to our tepee we put the ordeals of the day behind us.

The stone statues that draw people to the area are leftovers from an unknown civilisation that had disappeared by the fourteenth century. We spent a couple of days exploring sites and parks, looking at some pretty fierce rock guardians keeping watch over excavated burial sites. The nice thing was that the majority of the sculptures were outside, rather than in museums, which actually made them much more interesting to eyeball.

The park that houses most of the statues is heavily patrolled by heavily armed soldiers.

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