Friday, September 14, 2012

Have you seen enough statuary yet?

The old man (in orange) is stealing my green fleece pullover! I think.

Well, have you seen enough statuary yet? Because I got more to show you.  Introducing:  Parque Arqueológico Alto de los Idolos near San Jose de Isnos. This was the last – I promise – of the stops to see San Agustín-style statuary.

Teaser statuary at the park entrance
We were greeted by this friendly array of statuary. From there, it was a steep hike up to the "Alto" to see "los Idolos," the real Colombian Idols. Here’s the biggest star in the Isnos galaxy:

Manute Bol tall. And Manute Bol skinny.
This guy is the tallest of all the statues I’ve seen. I estimate him to be about 20 feet tall. This park is arranged in a crescent moon shape, with idol-guarded tombs at the points of the crescent. On Mesita A:

Tomb guard duty
And this sacrificial font was on display. Crawl inside and help the crops grow:

And it's reusable, too!
My mirth and general insouciance aside, the presentation of all this statuary in this region is quite remarkable, interesting and moving. So, please, wander among the idols. I will jump in when I have something particularly impudent to add:

On to Mesita B:

That last one (two photos) is a caiman. Except there are no caiman in Colombia. Never were. This shows that the roots of the indigenous people of this part of Colombia were from the Amazon. The headwaters of the Putumayo, which flows into the Amazon roughly at the southernmost point of Colombia, are just over a mountain ridge from here. So it's not really all that far of a trip from one far end of the Amazon basin to here.

The whole place is guarded by an army of Holsteins:

Guard cow
There actually was a field of dairy cattle right next to Mesita B, right near the caiman. OK. Impudence break over.

After Colombian Idol, it was a side trip to see Salto de Bordones, a  very high, very spectacular nearby waterfall:
Salto de Bordones
While the waterfall was spectacular, I don’t believe the viewing platform was either ADA or OSHA compliant:

Where to view Salto de Bordones
Then it was a visit to the farm owned by the family of the operator of the Anacaona. A lot of the food that I was eating at the Anacaona was from this farm. The plantains. The coffee I drank each morning was from beans grown and roasted right here. And, much to my shock and awe, they even grew cacao. Chocolate:

They look sort of like mini-eggplant hanging on the tree. I got to taste a roasted cacao seed. It tasted surprisingly like chocolate, more specifically those bars of unsweetened baking chocolate. Which, I know, is what it is, but I thought there needed to be more processing to bring out the chocolatey goodness. Here’s the family farm dog in the cacao field. If only this pooch had been brown instead of black.

A dog in the cacao field
Then I could say this was a picture of a chocolate lab under the chocolate tree.

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