Posted by: Googie | June 9, 2010

San Agustin

The road from Popayan to San Agustin was scenic, but extremely bad. I just kept jumping on the seat in my rickety bus almost continuously for more than 6 hours on the super bumpy road, and I did NOT enjoy it. But nevertheless, the landscapes along the way were very pretty, so that was a good thing.


Picturesque landscapes along the way

I had reserved a bed in Finco El Maco that Megan & Eddie had recommended, but the hike up to the hostel (which is about 4 kms from the center of town, and up a steep slope) with my backpack almost killed me. Moreover, the dormitory was rather ordinary. I was to learn later that the private rooms in the hostel were totally out-of-this-world; which probably was the reason why Megan & Eddie were raving about this place.

At the hostel, I met a Dutch couple, Cris & Kim and a Aussie-English couple Stuart & Shastra. During our conversations, we learned that Stuart & Shastra had met Ed & Tanya during one of their hikes in Peru, and Shastra was actually planning to volunteer at Katitawa in a few months’ time.

The next morning, Cris, Kim & I joined with a honeymooning Colombian couple for a day-long jeep tour of San Agustin and the surrounding areas. The tour was quite interesting and we checked out the lush countryside, the huge carved stone sculptures and a few waterfalls with a trip to a jaggery making workshop and had a traditional Colombian lunch.


The river Magdalena gushes through this narrow gorge with tremendous force


Jeep trail


Jaggery making workshop


The jaggery being poured into bricks


One stone statue


Another stone statue


A whole bunch of stone statues


At least one other Indian had come to see the stone statues


With the Colombian couple, Cris and some local kids

I was ready to leave the next morning, and since the Dutch pair were also headed to Popayan we decided to travel together. But what we hadn’t anticipated was the lack of buses going our way, and that those that would go would be filled to capacity. So finally after a long wait, and some additional camioneta rides between the highway and the center of town, we finally managed to get 3 confirmed seats till Popayan.

Going back on the non-existent road and enduring the second 6 hour bumpy ride in 3 days took its toll on my body and I was quite sick with a slight temperature and a splitting headache by the time I was back in Popayan. But instead of directly hitting the sack, I decided to join a Spanish guy, an Australian girl and a German guy for dinner. This turned out to be a great decision because the wonderful dinner with the 3 other solo travelers (all headed in different directions the next day) did a lot to alleviate my illness.

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  1. That place looks just like the western ghats man !

    • Haha… yeah man! If I’d known that earlier, I could have saved a few thousands 🙂

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