When we walked across the road in early (6:30am) morn, we asked again about bus to San Agustin and the fellow (spoke some English) explained we'd have to first take the camioneta to La Plata. And yes, it goes by soon up the hill to village of San Andres de Pisimbala where it turns around and passes by again. BUT, he said, we should get on as it goes uphill. Great suggestion since we would have been outside the camioneta had we waited for it to come by going back downhill. Also, luckily we only had our small day packs (see size of vehicle pic). Eventually we had a total of 27 riding in and outside the vehicle! It was a full load w/o packs, can't imagine if we'd had our big packs where they would have ended up!
Once in La Plata (2 hrs plus, rough roads, great scenery), we got a small van to (???), where we then took a taxi the last 45 minutes to San Agustin arr at 1:30. Walked to Posada el Hogar San Agustin
and Audrey & Taieb...great couple from France getting place established for past 11 months. It was recom to us by Oliver & Dagmar who stayed there also. Since we hadn't eaten all day we took time to get food then up by city bus (only 50 cents US) to the museum and archeological sites there. By now it was almost 3, not much time to see much (closing at 4) so we opted to stay another day to make plans for seeing more. We were given the 'senior' discount so paid same as Colombians instead of the $5 US more for foreigners! This helped us decide to stay as well.
Back in town we looked into buses to Popayan as well as taxi tour of outlying sites...in doing so we bumped into Ze Ee, Malasian gal who had been in S.A. last 2 days...she clued us in on what was what here in San Agustin so bus company rep., Jorge, was unable to convince us to fork over the $25 US for a tour. After much discussion w/ Ze Ee we decided the jeep tour would be unnecessary and opted for hiking to closer sites. We departed from Ze Ee hoping to catch up w/ her again in Pasto. (Never saw her again)
Conversations with owners of Posada were wide ranging...they too, feel many things going awry everywhere. The bailout of Greece is just a temp fix for several mos. until another country needs help, etc. Their take on Colombia is that much is going to depend upon May 30 election. The revolutionaries and drug people are all still very much alive and well...just waiting to see what happens in election. When we left to go to Popayan we felt like family, they were so warm and welcoming and open.
Brkfst at Hogar for $3 US ea was good and we set out for day hiking to 4 sites (see Pics). Beautiful day, great up/down exercise, lots of scenic vistas! Hiking 9:30 to 4:30...see pics!
"The largest group of religious monuments and megalithic sculptures in South America stands in a wild, spectacular landscape. Gods and mythical animals are skilfully represented in styles ranging from abstract to realist. These works of art display the creativity and imagination of a northern Andean culture..." Quotation from UNESCO website.
We paid for Monday bus to Popayan since we had been told that it was nec to get tickets day ahead this being a holiday weekend.More Info Re: San Agustin & UNESCO SitesUNESCO & San Agustin