I admit it was quite naive to believe I would be able to write regular posts on daily basis. And it’s really not about lack of internet connection or even about lack of time (although I must admit my days are full to the last minute). It’s more about being so saturated with new things, new people, new experiences, and not being able to transform it into words without giving it some time to mature, to start to make some sense. If I wanted I could produce a daily set of paragraphs, although it would be more a kind of mechanical reportage of some kind, rather than well digested reflexions. This journey have had so many turns already, that I feel I need to slowly process it first, before I can develop some kind of word translation of this crazy experience into something more or less readable.
Past few days might be summarized like this: overnight travels (last night 4 different buses), visiting amazing places and learning most surprising things, pretending I’m Colombian, getting ill, desperately fighting with extremely poor internet connection, getting better, my first encounter with the guerillas, and finding some kind of balance after all. But could anyone possibly make any sense of that?
San Augustin is one of this mysterious places where generations of archeologists spent years and years of research and never came to agreed conclusion about the place. Most famous and most amazing statues have been discovered on this terrain about hundred years ago. Well, officially, because before that some people managed to find them, and steal or destroy a number of the figures. For those of you who don’t like staring at anthropomorphic piece of stone it might sound boring at first. But when you see the number of the figures, and when you start looking at them and realize that each and every one of them seem to have direct inspiration from various and remote cultures (Egipt, India, Greece etc) – you slowly start to get amazed. There is no consistent theory of who made them, and when. There is no explanation of why the personages represented in stone have Asian, African, Indian and European features! Similarly to the clothes and the objects they have in their hands. How is it possible that the tombs are dig so deep down into the ground, and have immense stones placed on the bottom. Who and how was able to do all of this, when no trace of civilization os left there! Truly amazing! and the nature surrounding it makes it even better!!!
Probably one of the most impressive things i have experienced in San Augustin over past few days were:
- 36 figures hidden in the selvatic bosque (apart from all the ones you find in the archaeological parks, spread around the area, and museum). And I must admit that what probably impressed me even more than the figure is the bosque itself, similarly like in Machu Picchu: although really impressed by the ruins, I was totally mad about the mountains, which were truly amazing!!!
- the biggest waterfall in Colombia, and, closely linked to this:
- two teenagers with very inquisitive look, with bulky pockets and curious faces, who didn’t stop staring at me for a second, when I couldn’t stop staring at the waterfall. I got used to be stared at here, but these two wouldn’t waste a second. And only later on I learned from the driver that these two youngsters were guerillas, and their pockets were bulky because of the guns… 😮 I’m glad I didn’t know that once I was there, although they were so persistent with their staring that I almost told them off!!! Glad I didn’t. The explanation given by the driver was quite shocking: apparently on this terrain there were plenty of them and they are the law. They usually start aged 12, and they don’t avoid action. Recently some local person have killed a woman, her child and her dog. The next day guerillas went to his house and killed him. No court, no sentence – everything clean and quite straightforward. The driver said that thinks to them there is no delinquency in the area. This shut my mouth, I didn’t want to disagree nor to rebel.
Another amazing thing about these travels is the journey itself. Like last night, when travelled all evening, night and morning, I changed bust four times (one got broken, one wasn’t going where it had to etc etc). For some strange reason I don’t get tired or irritated by this, I jump into this reality and swim with the flow. It’s crazy, but it can actually be very pleasant. Day of rest and tomorrow I head off to the North of the country: first Santa Marta, then visit to the Ciudad Perdida (caaaan’t wait!!!!!) and then some more days in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and finally a day or two on the caribbean beach… Well deserved, iIshould say. Till then!