Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 6, Part I: San Agustín Archaeological Park

San Agustín
El Día Maravillosa.

Do you think you recognize a truly momentous day in your life when it’s happening? Or does the weight of the moment only become clear with the passage of time. Day Seis of La Aventura Colombiana likely was one of those days for me. I think.

It was a wet, rainy morning in San Agustín. Hector, the proprietor of the Anacaona, drove me, my guide, and my guide-translator to San Agustín Archaeological Park for a four-hour tour. This tour was the reason for my trip to Colombia. San Agustín is only now starting to get attention for its historical and archaeological significance. While it may not be the next Machu Picchu, it is going to get more attention. It is a massive collection of stone statuary carved from volcanic rock by the indigenous San Agustín tribe who occupied this area over a three-millenia period that ended around 1000 A.D.  It is so awesome.

Some of the statues are quite detailed, others have undergone decay. Many are located where they were originally found. First, the statues of Mesita A:

To me, these statues are sufficiently fascinating that I can't really add much in the way of commentary, so I will move on to Mesita B, again without commercial interruption:

OK, quick comment.  That fourth one down?  Doesn't it have that "delirious clown" look that is extra-creepy.  OK, since I've just spoiled the spiritual mood, let's get the mood back by me striking the shaman pose:
Then to Mesita C:

Incidentally, those aren’t umbrellas those statues are holding. Those are permanent roofs to protect the exposed statuary from the elements:
Then it was the walk to Fuente de Lavapatas, which translates to the Fountain of Feet-washing:
Then the fountain itself. No entrance. No feet-washing allowed:

Then to the highest point in the park, the Alto de Lavapatas:

If you want to learn more about the Archaeological Park, in English, then check out this link: San Agustín Archaeological Park.  There's an espanol version for you, too, if you dare (click on the Spanish flag for that).

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