Water goes quick in the desert and after 4 days we had exhausted our supply. Regrettable we pulled up our roots and bounced out of the desert back onto the “highway”.
We passed the Rio Magdalena, the most important river in all of Colombia. The river runs throughout Colombia. Its life-giving watershed is responsible for 86% of Colombia’s GDP. Understandably, Colombians love this river.
We were headed to San Agustin. A small town in Southern Colombia, home to very important pre-Colombian artifacts. San Agustin and the surrounding areas are littered with tons of relics from various civilizations who lived in the Andes mountains from as early as 3300 B.C. all the way up to 17th century.
Not much is known about these ancient cultures. Researchers have found many large stone carvings, evidence of tool use, burial chambers, and religious artifacts. But no solid information as far as politics, social structure, trade, etc.
We found a great hostel up in the mountains who let us camp on there lawn for $5/day. Cold showers but fast internet!
And the worlds wussiest dog I have ever seen. Meet Fresa (Strawberry). Just in case your 10 gram dog was too intimidating, its a good idea to dress it in a pink apron.
The next morning we headed out to the main archeological site. Paid our entrance fee and started touring the grounds. The scientists found these large sculptures scattered all throughout the mountains and moved many of them to this site for further research/display. I like the little protective umbrellas they built for them.
With no signage or guide to tell us what these statues actually meant I went ahead and came up with my own ideas…
“The Food Baby”
Ancient Valentines Day card
We strolled onto some cleared areas where they discovered many burial tombs and even more large sculptures.
Here is one of the burial tombs.
While the pictures do it no justice, the ancient civilizations carved this riverbed full of intricate designs, patterns, and figures. They could re-route the water into different channels to “activate” different shapes as they desired. Pretty ingenious for a culture from early B.C.
A long series of stairs brought us to the top of the mountain where another ancient burial mound was found. This mound was full of children. No one knows why these kids were buried so high up on this mountain overlooking this beautiful valley. Perhaps they were children of the chief? Or perhaps just sacfrificed to please the gods? No one knows.
They did have a nice view from up here though.
Muckin’ about on some of the ruins. I got yelled at by the security guard for man-handling the statue.
One of the largest carvings in the complex. Seems to be a someone delivering a baby out of a woman. They discovered it half-buried in the dirt, you can still see the browning on the bottom half of the statue.
The site was very interesting and set on beautiful grounds. We enjoyed spending the day exploring the area and pondering about this ancient culture.
After spending the whole day learning, We decided it was time for a break. Lets kill off some of those pesky braincells!
Aguila! Colombia’s #1 beer. Colombiana, #1 Soda (Tastes like bubblegum)
Next morning we packed up and hit the road south. Almost to Ecuador!