Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 6, Part IV: The Day Bob Rode a Horse

Me. For the first time ever. On horseback.
Not everything on El Día Maravillosa was maravillosa, but even the less than maravillosa parts were milestone.  For example, for the first time ever, I rode a horse.  I lived. The horse lived.  Period.  End of discussion.

Riding a horse was not high on my “bucket list” of things to do. In fact, I generally believed that if I were to have ridden a horse, that would be the bucketing event that necessitated having to have gone through said list. Alternatively, if I were to actually cheat death on horseback, the Christopher Reeves result would be the next most likely outcome.

Having already wimped out on the bicycle tour of Bogotá, I wasn’t about to double up on my wussiness. So, I figured, if I could actually climb up on the back of mi caballo, I would stay in the saddle for the next excursion.

Here was my horse before I climbed into the saddle:

And here is the same horse afterward:

I kid.  I kid.  This is not a petrified and squashed horsey.  It's the destination!  More statuary! La Pelota and El Purutal!

La Pelota
La Pelota and El Purutal are very difficult to access by vehicle and the walk is far from downtown San Agustín or the Hacienda Anacaona. The San Agustín area is thick with pre-Columbian statuary. La Pelota, "the ball," only has a few statues:

La Pelota: a closer view

La Pelota: an even closer view yet
El Purutal is known for its well-preserved painted statuary. Painted? Why would anyone paint these tasteful statues. Like the statues of ancient Greece, all of these statues originally were painted. For the most part, the paint is gone, stripped away either by the weather or by clueless archaeologists who removed the paint when trying to clean the dirt off the rock statues. El Purutal is a bit larger, but still only a single tomb with guardian statues:

El Purutal: left side view
On this guy you can see the paint very clearly:

El Purutal: right side view
Back to the horses for the it-felt-like-a-long ride (for me and the horse) back to the Hacienda Anacaona  Incidentally, the horse's name?   Delirio.  As in Spanish for "Delirium."  Gave me a whole lot of confidence in my ability to remain upright on this beast.

(No horses were harmed in the making of this posting.)

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