San Agustin II

February 11, 2010

Well I decided to “splurge” and rent a horse (and guide) to tour San Agustin. There are 4 sites that are up in the backcountry that I hoped would make it worthwhile.

Having owned horses most of my life, I explained to my guide, Humberto (who works at the tourist office in San Agustin–is that a conflict of interest?!?) I explained to Humberto that if he showed up in the morning with a skinny, maltreated horse I was not going on the tour and I was not going to pay him. I said I was only going to give my money to someone who took good care of their animals. He thought I was nuts, but he did show up with a horse that had a little flesh on it…

First Stop: La Caquira

This tour is obviously geared towards tourists…we walk around a museum, and Humberto tells me I have to pay the lady $2 for the tour. Then he offers me a banana.

Old instruments to squeeze the juice from the sugarcane.

Old brazier for the sugar juice.

Old still.

Old instruments.

Old something (I forget).

Off we go again…

My view for most of the morning.

My guide, Humberto.

Yup, everyone in Central and South America has a cell phone. It still cracks me up to see indigenous women using them for some reason…

I now have a new favorite fruit: Lulo. Heres a Lulo plantation.

ah, the bad cow. Whenever you see a cow wearing one of these it means he’s been bad (usually an escape artist). Humberto laughed when I said “vaca mala“.

These figures are dug up from graves. They are placed in front of the body in the tomb: if the buried person is male, they get a female protector. If female, they get a male protector.  Note that they all (except the owls) have Jaguar teeth. Jaguars were an important part of the culture.

This carving is significant: it still retains vestiges of the paint from when originally interred:

Motifs from the graves recur on “modern” houses.

After 5.5 hours on horseback, I was ready to get off. Humberto ended the tour at the Parque Arqueologico, where I (thankfully) hed to walk for a few hours.

Here’s a pic for my friend that appreciate weird vegetation:

I took over 200 pics inside the park. To spare your computers endless bandwith usage, I am just going to give you the complete tour of the statue forest (35 sculptures).

Enjoy!

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