We arrived at night after an “almost peaceful” trip, which lasted more than it was supposed to, from Neiva to Pitalino, and from Pitalito to San Agustín. In Colombia an “almost peaceful” trip is one where you have the luck of NOT having a driver with a suicidal behavior who doesn’t try to kill you while overtaking someone in a turn, or driving like if he’s possessed by the devil itself, especially if you go in a small municipal minibus. This is luck, my dear friend!
At the corner where the buses stop, the car from the hostel was awaiting us, we loaded our bags and we were ready to go. While getting in, a guy who was working there told that a German couple wants to park their camper-van in the hostel, the driver of our minibus, who we think was the manager and owner himself, said that they would talk about that later. Stefano made a face and pointed where the van was parked: “oh, so beautiful,” I said. We are planning on having one to travel in Europe or who knows where, the thing is that we get excited and imaginative about our everytime we see one.
They helped us to unload the bags, gave us a walkie-talkie to communicate with them, and informed us about a small Andean music concert at the restaurant. We went to our room, opened the door and… wooooow! A huge bed, where 4 people could sleep comfortably–with enough room for tossing and turning–and it was just for the two of us.
“I would need to use the walkie-talkie to talk to you in this bed,” said Stefano. I laughed, dropped the bags, took momentum and jumped.
“Don’t break the bed.”
We sort of settled the bags in a corner and checked all the room: two showers, two sinks, and two toilets, we were amazed, so that Stefano published on his Facebook: “Huge room with king size bed, double private bathroom and double private shower, amazing breakfast with freshly toasted coffee. All for 30€ per night. What else can you ask from a hostel?”
After a moment of astonishment we got ready for dinner, the night was chilly so we covered up. It has been a good night, we assisted to a private and intimate Andean music concert played by a young mad crafting his own instruments.
The tickets were two beautiful passports.
The next day we got ready early to go to the Archaeological Park of San Agustín. At breakfast, as we expected, we had a delicious coffee with freshly roasted beans. We had just one day and we wanted to go to the main attraction of San Agustín, we were just a few meters from the park, we got to the entrance and we bought our tickets. Even before entering we were already loving the place, the tickets were two beautiful passports and Stefano wanted a stamp on each page.
The butterflies were our guides during all the way, we saw a lot of different species that gave magical colors to the path–more magic than what you could already breath.
The whole place is full of an austere, reassuring and ancestral energy, which invites you in a tour where you can be face to face with the vestiges of a culture that left its tangible mark on the history of mankind; sculpting and building stones statues of people, jaguars, birds, snakes, human-animal hybrid, sarcophagi and burial mounds.
Having the opportunity to look through someone else is difficult but the people of the upper Magdalena river allow us with this beautiful gift; their history, culture, beliefs, art, evolution, and even their feelings. 900 years of our era that we can appreciate, with the opportunity to step on sacred grounds and transcend to another spiritual level.
To complement our day we looked for a restaurant on Tripadvisor, it was a little past lunchtime. One of the recommended places was at the km 1,5 on the way to the archaeological park, and we decided for this one: “Altos de Yerbabuena”. In theory we were close, so we started walking and we noticed that our stomachs were rumbling for the hunger, we accelerated our steps and arriving there we noticed we didn’t had cash, but luckily we brought our credit cards. “No, sorry, we only accept cash.” Our stomach were alarmed. We immediately thought what this meant: go to the town, withdraw money, and eat anywhere because our bodies and our mood would not last long without food, when the woman at the restaurant told us: “well, if you want to eat don’t worry, then you can go in town, get the money and pay when you come back.” We looked at each astonished at each other: “really?”, “Sure, come and eat.” Our soul returned peacefully in our body, especially when our order was coming to our table.
Delicious, the food in Altos de Yerbabuena is delightfully delicious, and they make you feel at home, the owners are very nice and they saved us from starvation. Needless to say, we recommend it! …and of course we went back to pay. We thought about running away, but they saved us so we didn’t do it. They saw Stefano’s “good gringo” face.
Concluding, places like the Archaeological Park of San Agustín should not be missed, they are the history of humanity and it can be that you are from another country, but you’re not from another planet, we are all humans–I think aliens would be interested in this sort of things. The world is incredible not only because of its places and landscapes, but also because of the people who were and are part of this.