12 – 15 December 2013

The street noise woke me up just after 6am so I had lots of time to get ready before leaving at 7.20. My bags were (as always) heavy so I was happy it was only 1½ kilometer to the bus station. Without much negotiation I got my ticket for 25,000 pesos instead of 30,000 and we left on time at 8am. It only took 10 minutes to get out of town and into the mountains – beautiful scenery with the lush slopes and many creeks, rivers and waterfalls. After a while we went from a paved road to a dirt/rock road (with lots of construction), so it was fairly bumpy especially because I got one of the last seats in the back of the bus. Researching a bit on the internet the night before, I had read horror stories about an impassable road and countless problems/stops ending up in 12 hour rides, but we were on time (5 hours) without any issues along the way. On the bus I talked to Chinese Jane who had studied a year in Columbia and now travelled a bit before going home just after X-mas – quite interesting as it's rare to meet Chinese backpackers and especially a Chinese girl travelling by herself. At an intersection 5 kilometres before San Augustin the driver let us off the bus and got us a collectivo the rest of the way... The driver was working for an agency so when we got to town he of course tried to hook us up with different hostels... Jane already had a reservation, so we split up and I began looking for a cheap place. Not so easy in this very touristic town where everybody wants to make a commission – everytime I asked advice people said “I can walk you to a cheap hostel” or they called to announce my arrival making it impossible to negotiate a good price should I go there. After walking around for a while with my heavy bags and getting many independent suggestions for the same hostel I ended up staying there – great views of the city and the cheapest place yet in Columbia (I even got my own room; though nothing special with a bed and small table). Having my own room didn't improve my sleeping, particularly because of the all-night loud music from downtown bars, cockroaches snoopping around my plactic bags and the usual time-confused rooster...

San Augustin is considered the most important archaelogical site in Columbia because of it's many life-sized rock sculptures scattered around the area - though nobody knows much about the people who created them. It was 2pm when I got to the hostel, so I headed out for a 4 hour walk to some waterfalls and sculptures though I didn't get far before dark clouds dominated the sky. I turned around and headed back to town – walking around for a while and doing some shopping before returning to the hostel where I spent the rest of the afternoon reading and enjoying the great views of town....

At breakfast the next morning I talked to an interesting couple from London - Israeli Elad and Polish Lucy - backpacking a year as their honeymoon. They were going to do a longer walk to some remote sculptures and asked if I wanted to join them which I gladly did. It was decent weather and we got some nice views of mountains and valleys as well as rivers, creeks and waterfalls. Most of the vegetation was wild but some slopes were used for growing coffee... After almost 3 hours we finally got to Alto Los Idolos where the biggest known statue of 7 meters was located. We met a French couple who told us about a big waterfall so instead of visiting another (allegedly insignificant) site we got a ride to nearby San Jose de Isnos where we waited 45 minutes for a collectivo to the waterfall. On the jeep we talked with 3 cute girls and a boy (5-6 years old) who were very curious about us foreigners... We arrived at the fall at 4.15pm and since the last collectivo drove back at 5pm we didn't have much time to explore the fall except from a viewing platform – okay without being amazing... It was late afternoon and we had a long trip back to San Augustin – 2 collectivos and then we were lucky to hitchhike a ride in the back of a cow truck full of shit (but no cows).... Over dinner we continued the day's interesting conversations...

The next morning I got up early to walk to the nearby Parque Ecologico where most of the sculptures are located... However, it was overcast so I had to wait some hours before it finally cleared – uphill but only 4 kilometers so an easy walk despite the heat... I didn't find the park very interesting primarily because of the little knowledge of the people who made the sculptures - Back in town I walked a bit around before returning to the hostel where I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in a hammock while reading, sorting pictures, etc. The part in the park I liked the most was the sculptures located in a forest instead of big open areas where the grass was cut neatly and the sculptures were behind bamboo fences.. The last day I did a loop north of town taking me through nice scenery - past more sculptures, fields and waterfalls though the views were limited because of the mostly overcast weather... In the evening I also talked to English Nathan who's on a bicycle trip from Alaska to Ushaia in Southern Argentina...

All-in-all I was happy to have visited San Augustin – the town was somewhat touristic and the sculptures less interesting but walking around the beautiful countryside experiencing the “real” Columbia was a joy... and then of course the great company at the hostel....

San Augustin
San Augustin is famous...
San Augustin
I walked 1½ kilometer ...
San Augustin
After only 10 minutes ...
San Augustin
A very representative ...
San Augustin
Especially the first 2...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
After some hours it go...
San Augustin
...and the views disap...
San Augustin
There is only one road...
San Augustin
... and not much room ...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
At an intersection 5 k...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
Geotagging
Not so easy to find a ...
San Augustin
San Augustin
... great views of the...
San Augustin
All water came from ne...
San Augustin
It was 2pm so I headed...
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
Lots of beautiful flow...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
I didn't get far befor...
San Augustin
It's a beautiful town ...
San Augustin
... most of which are ...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
X-mas is everywhere......
San Augustin
... even at the police...
San Augustin
I spent the rest of th...
San Augustin
.... and enjoying the ...
San Augustin
The next morning I joi...
San Augustin
It was decent weather ...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
San Augustin
Most of the vegetation...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
A coffee finca....
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
Besides coffee the mos...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
After almost 3 hours w...
San Augustin
... 
San Augustin
San Augustin
Many tombs or rather h...
San Augustin
A cayman...
San Augustin
San Augustin
Notice the canine teet...
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
Geotagging
A bumpy ride (hence th...
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
To get to the fall it ...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
Somebody felt a need t...
San Augustin
San Augustin
A turkey showing off.....
San Augustin
Stunning views...
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
Geotagging
The Bordones waterfall...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
Heavy rain in the dist...
San Augustin
San Augustin
It was late afternoon ...
San Augustin
X-mas lights at the ho...
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
The next morning I got...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
I didn't find the park...
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
A frog...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
Fuenta de Lavapatas - ...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
Heading uphill to Alto...
San Augustin
... and beautiful view...
San Augustin
.... to more statues a...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
Holding a child upside...
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
Geotagging
Again it's hard to jud...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
The part in the park I...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
Beautiful evening skie...
San Augustin
The last day I walked ...
San Augustin
.. past more sculpture...
San Augustin
... fields...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
... with views of moun...
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
San Augustin
A typical Columbian se...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
After another hour's w...
San Augustin
... and El Purital wit...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
I began raining so I h...
San Augustin
San Augustin
On the way back to tow...
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
San Augustin
Geotagging
San Augustin
San Augustin
A last view of the eve...
 
 
Powered by Phoca Gallery

Mailing List Subscriber

If you would like to be notified every time I have updated my homepage (every 2-3 months), please submit your name and email



If you don't get a confirmation on your registration, something went wrong - please try again.