Saturday, 15 April 2017

San Agustin

We flew to Pitileto landing on a narrow strip of tarmac in a field before waiting in an open sided hanger for luggage to be individually delivered. From there it was a taxi past coffee farms and steep mountains to Hotel Imperio Cococababa. This was family run and very friendly but if I had to criticise I'd say the sloping ceiling that meant I could only walk to one end of my bed and the way the noise from the street carried.

In the afternoon we had a walking tour of two sites with rock carvings, one overlooking a deep river gorge.

Walked into the town of San Augustin for dinner and found an easter parade going on. The floats had plastic statues that could be called tacky but the overall effect was amazing. Something about the drumming that filled the air and the way the whole town joined in a chanted Ave Maria made it very powerful.

The next day was spent viewing more sites starting with the archaeological park then in the afternoon a car tour of outlying sites and a waterfall.

Little is known about the San Agustin culture, except that bthey carved a huge number of sculptures some of which were found on or in the entrance of tombs. Archaeology suggests the statues stopped being made about 300 years before the Spanish conquest and the people who were there at the conquest denied all knowledge of who had made them or why.

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