After a short trip (one pick up truck, one bus, one collectivo, one moto taxi) we arrived into San Agustin. The land renowned for its mysterious peoples who built mysterious statues all over the valleys. The people are gone, but the statues remain. We went from a dead landscape with sad animals to incredibly lush and high tropical forests, coffee plantations and happy cows and chickens nearly everywhere we went. And really, really happy dogs.
This town is run by one man, Alberto. He corralled us into his Turistica Information office straight off the bus, set us up at his hilltop hostel, and then proceeded to cater to us all weekend. He seems to own most everything, and always good to give you a deal (but its secret, don’t say anything to anyone else about your deal).
We set up our hammocks again, this time much colder had to borrow a blanket for the night. Stumbled into our friends Rebecca and Tyler again who were also staying in one of Alberto’s hostels. Funny.
We decided to stay a few nights finally in one location, get the feel of the place. Cooked many meals, mostly of eggs because you can only buy eggs in the 3 dozen format.
Brett was busy running his business for some of this time in San Agustin so Jessica went horseback riding over the valleys to visit these mysterious carvings. They remain pretty much just as mysterious since the tour was in Spanish. But she at least got a deal from Alberto on the horse (don’t tell).
This statue is about child sacrifices though, see the small child in his arms, and the blood all over his face.
This should be the last of the horses for awhile though, Jessica’s butt isn’t as padded as it should be. Mostly the landscapes were beautiful on the horse back riding trip, the statues were interesting but with limited context it was hard to really appreciate them. Jessica did fully appreciate the dogs though, because if there is one thing San Agustin does well (besides ancient statues) its dogs.
These photos were taken when I was being mauled by puppies. It could have been worse.
We did learn that we were very lucky to catch the coffee in bloom, the plants only bloom for three days before fruiting.
Getting out of San Agustin was the first hard day (and sad day) of travel. We tried to use every bank in town, and ended up just using a credit card to get a very sad amount of money out. We also tried to avoid a high price by cabbing out of town to catch the bus on the highway crossroads however we ended up just paying extra for the cab and the same price for the bus. No Alberto deals on this one.
I’d now like to take the time to discuss buses in Columbia. They are on time, relatively not packed, some have aircon and many have wifi. In essence they are better then most buses.
Our bus this time on the way out of San Augustin, didn’t seem shifty but after climbing high into the mountain pass on to a dirt road we quickly decided this bus clearly lacked in the shocks department. Seriously lacked. We were lucky to be in the very back seat, and spent the next 3 hours trying to make sure out brain didn’t liquefy and drip out our brain stem. It felt like we were living in a shakeweight. It was not fun, even if we spent the time getting air.
We did get to see high cloud forest though, with no habitation save a few military guys hiding in the trees (we are close to the border, and the amazon here… security is higher).
However, after what seemed like forever but was only 6 hours we arrived to a warm and sunny afternoon in Popayan.