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Published: August 9th 2006
1st August- 3rd August
Finally crossing into Columbia had come too soon! strange to realise that i have been travelling for 5 months already! my longest travels so far!
It was the journey from hell!!!
Quito- border (Tulcan): 6 hours
border crossing (1 bus, 2 taxis): 2 hours
Ipiales- Papayan (8 hours)
waited 4 hours for connecting bus
papayan- San Augustin (8 hours)- on the worst bus ride ever! bumpy as hell, and having to sit in the aisle as seats were sold out!!! arrrggghhh!!!!
San Augustin was nothing special as a town, but lay as a base to discover the surrounding historic sites- el tablon, La Chaguira, La Pelota, El Purutal (these four sites being visited on horseback..there´s no other way is there baby?!!). also Archaeological Park and Alter of the Idols.
These lay witness to numerous cultures, of which little information is known. Dating around 2500years old, there were rock statues everywhere, of varying size and depictions. They often lay as guardians to the buried dead behind their wall. They were often given half man, half animal features. Like the Incas, they also often depicted the Condor (animal of higher world),
horse back riding through ancient sites
my horse´s name was caramel...by fast the fastest horse ride that ive experienced so far!
Puma (middle world- earth), Serpent (underworld). Cultures included Andaki, Alto Magdalena, Quimayas and Chib Chas.
We visited one museum where they described our Astrology depending on the Mayan culture analysis. My spanish undersatnding has yet to understand astrological terms! but am sure it said something about me being intelligent, popular with the ladies, and bound to be immensely rich and succesful! oh...and a very large penis...but that was a given! Was also told that my left shoulder would start hurting to warn me of upcoming threats....will warn you if that was to happen!
Our horse back tour on the first day was guided by a funny Columbian local, who kept offering to take us to coccaine, mushroom and coffee plantations! wasnt offended by our refusal. Instead spent the afternoon drinking fermneted alcoholic sugar cane that is meant to make you weak at the knees! not very smart when you are about to ride a horse! never ridden a horse as fast as i had that day! Go Caramelo (the name of my horse). Am really getting the nack of these creatures. I still remember my fear of a horse called Radish when i was young...that´s all gone now!
Then Claudio and I boarded yet another bus, again from hell...it was bumpy getting there! was equally bumpy getting back. given seats this time, we became nauseated instead as sitting in the back ensured that every rock would send us flying a metre up in the air!
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