Edit Blog Post
Published: November 11th 2010
Eventually we made it into town and stayed in town at a place with a balcony beckoning for an evening beer. The evening consisted of street food- papas rellenas (potatos, beef, hard boiled egg deep fried in batter) and arepas con queso (like a grilled cheese with corn patties) and a tasting of Colombian cervesa. An early evening led to an early morning. While there were a lot of ways to see the surrounding archeological sights, being the independent ladies we are, we opted to do the tour on foot. After a quick breakfast and chat about coca we were off. The 40 minute walk up to the park in the sun was pretty and a welcome relief from walking in the rain in Purace. The ticket granted us an entrance into only the biggest park, El Parque Arqueologico. Overall our few hours spent looking at the various funerary staues and tombs were intriguing, but there was no literature to describe each of the statues....maybe it would have been better with a guide. About 12:30 we took off for what looked to be a 2 hour stroll. The map made it seem that the other archeological sights, El
Purutal, La Pelota, La Chaquira and El Tablon were all relatively close to both the park and the town. Turning off the main road, in the midsts of barking dogs we found ourselves scrambling underneath several serious looking barb-wire fences only to start walking on a deserted dirt road. Laura asks, "are we sure this is a good idea?" Porque no?! We pressed on and quickly saw a sign indicating the first ruins were only 1.5 km away. Surely this must be true, right? Wrong. Laura and I walked along the road for awhile, passing beautiful country scenery and lots of small farms. Taking a short break we see a French couple and their guide pass by on horses and he claims we are "cerquita". About 2 hours later, after asking numerous people for directions (why would there not be a sign at forks in the road??) we finally made it up to the first two ruins, La Pelota y El Purutal. There we see the statues, some of which have retained their original colorings and a few larger tombs. We also see the horse people again and ask the cowboy for directions to La Chaquira, what is supposed to
be a gorgeous canyon with a few rock carvings. His directions were something out of a movie...go down the road and go left, you'll pass a German finca, diagonally will be a gate. Go through the gate and there will be two more, pick the one on the right, the second intesection of trails go left...etc. You get the picture right? As we were walking we saw a group of young kids walking with an adult; they turned out to be the first of many, all in route to the statues we had just left. While we were excited to actual see anyone else on this absurd trail they were excited to see foreingers. On group consisted of about 7 girls, 3 mothers and a teacher and as we got close one girl yelled out, "Ustedes son gringas?" then she covered her mouth. Next thing we know we are being put in multiple arrangements for different photos with not just the children but also the mothers! Once we were free from their chattering our tired legs continued on towards La Chaquira. You can imagine the excitement when we actually made it there! Nevermind it took us over an hour and
not the 35 minutes he claimed. It was pretty and even worth climbing down the many steps to reach the bottom. We only saw three of the seven hidden rock sculptures but the view was impresionante. The horse people seemed suprised to see us there and even more suprsied to hear we were Americans that spoke Spanish. At the nearby tienda we stopped for a moments reprive and to ask about directions back to San Agustin as the sun was begining to set. Laura went to the bathroom and the man outside started talking to me about economics, la crisis in the USA and what lowering the dollar would mean for world markets...all mind you in Spanish. Good thing I played along and didn't ignore him becuase he and his son showed us a shortcut to the main road, through their backyard and we were able to pass by El Tablon en route. The road back to San Agustin was not much farther and it was lined with guyavas which was good because we were both very hungry. We got back to town, chowed down and passed out early to take the long, head throbbing bus ride back to Popayan in the morning, where we wound up in the cab of the bus. And now we part ways….
Tot: 0.07s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 11; qc: 51; dbt: 0.013s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb