Monday, 19 August 2013

San Agustin

With only a few days left in Colombia, we wanted to make the most of it by heading to San Agustin. Oh, and did we mention that it was nearly Kat's birthday? To celebrate this special occasion in style, we organised a horse tour without really knowing what it entailed due to the language barrier, then off to bed we trotted, eager for our early morning tour.

Kat's Birthday

Up and raring to go we were on those horses faster than the speed of light. With our guide Pablo, we trotted off into the middle of nowhere, with only nature surrounding us. It was picture perfect and we had the weather to match it.

Humberto waving us off

Getting into the swing of it

 After about an hour, we hopped off our horses like seasoned pros and headed up a huge hill to see some of the pre-Colombian statues that contribute to the huge archeological site of San Agustin. However, the language issues prevailed and we still aren't too sure what it was. From what we could gather, and thanks to the sign that accompanied the site, the statues guarded the entrances to the tombs below.


3,000 year old statue

 Pablo then hacked at some trees to show us the different colour saps that leaked oozed out of them; yellow, red and black. These are the colours they used to paint the stone staues. Unfortunately, an over-enthusiastic soul decided the statues would look better if the colourings were a bit brighter, so they went over the colours in modern paint, spoiling the original paintwork that had managed to survive for thousands of years. A sign informed us that they had restored the statues back to their original pre-modification glory though.

Pablo hacking away


Back in the saddle we were off again, this time Pablo stopped to show us all of the coffee fields that we were riding through as well as orange trees, some tasty local fruit and some coca plants. Along the ride, Kat caught a glimpe of what we both believe to be a deadly poisonous snake!

Some fruit..yummy

After a little canter, it was time to clamber back down to check out a massive valley that had some waterfalls spouting out of it. It looked like the mountains were leaking. In addition to the beautiful views there were some more statues. One looked a bit like a monkey and Pablo couldn't help but give it a cuddle and the other was a giant woman.

Monkey lover


Valley of green

We made our way back into town like cowboys and due to it being Kat's birthday, Pablo decided a beer was in order so he took us to a local little shack and treated us to a bevvy each.

Canter time

Lone ranger

 We met back up with some Aussie boys, who were staying in our hostel, and with chicharron still on the mind we asked our hostel owner if he knew anywhere good to get some. Big mistake. He took us to a street eatery named "Cholesterol Palace". The name was spot on. Having raved to the boys about the delights of chicharron, we were served up a hefty portion of deep-fat-fried pork fat, rather than the delicious pork surrounded by crackling that we had experienced with Adriana. Safe to say it was disgusting and we were both very disappointed ladies!


 To finish the birthday with a bang, our hostel owner, Humberto, took us to a local cock fight.
 It was certainly a very Colombian and local affair. It was not as bad as we had both imagined, although it was still pretty grizzly at times, but it was great to experience an authentic Saturday in San Augustin. We put a bet on one and we lost, luckily we hadn't put too much money where our mouths were! Humberto put a huge wack on one fight and he chose wisely, with a fair amount of cash in his pocket he treated us all to another birthday beer!

Saturday night cock fight

 It certainly turned out to be a day that neither of us will forget in a hurry and a great way to turn 23 for Kat.  

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