Today we went for a horseback ride! We rode about eight and a half miles and visited three Archaeological sites that are more remote than the sites we visited yesterday!! It was wonderful!
It is so beautiful here, lush with wonderful views and lots of interesting flowers, crops and birds. Our guide Boliva was great and his horses were nice and calm and well behaved.
Every morning we’ve been here we have heard a loud raucous bird in the trees. If I understood our guide correctly it is a chachalaca bird. Some people even have them as pets. At one of our stops we saw one up close.
Our first stop on our ride was Purutal – La Pelota. An ancient burial site that was excavated in 1984. That’s four years after Duke was here. The statues are colored. As I understand it these are the only statues that they have found that are colored. They are located exactly as they were found.
Our second stop was at La Chiquita. We left the horses at the top and climbed down to a spectacular overlook of the Magdalena River Canyon and two waterfalls. There were carvings overlooking the canyon too.
Our third stop was El Tablón where the statues were excavated by a German archaeologist in the early 1900s. They were sent to Germany and then later repatriated. Next it was back to our hotel.
I got to practice my Spanish a lot today talking to our guide. At one point I asked what he uses for coffee when he drinks coffee at home. He said he has a few coffee bushes. He picks the coffee, roasts it, grinds it, and brews it all right before he drinks it. Our hotel told us they do the same thing for our breakfast coffee. The coffee is delicious.
Coincidentally the wife of our guide is the niece of the man Duke stayed with in 1980. The girl in the picture below from 1980 is a bank manager today!
The ride today was so tranquil and beautiful. We saw fewer than twenty other tourists!
It started raining hard after we got back to our hotel. I wanted comfort food for dinner so I had delicious Pasta carbonara and Duke had lasagne.
I haven’t been on a horse since I was in college. I’m sore and tired tonight but it was a wonderful day!