For once, I’ll spare you the hours spent on buses and taxis as by now you must have understood that every trip is a journey in itself and traveling in Colombia needs time. We made it in San Agustin where we found a wonderful hostel. The owners made us feel at home right away and we were happy to call it home for three nights. We didn’t plan to stay in San Agustin for longer than a day (basically an in and out action) as our main focus was the archeological park but as we arrived on a Monday late afternoon and Tuesdays are the unknown official maintenance day, we had to slightly modify our schedule. Alright… Skype with family it was then and a walk through town, eating obleas (aka Colombian waffle sandwich filled with caramel, cheese and syrup). You can never go wrong with sampling local sweets!
Our hostel seemed to have attracted cool travelers and over dinner in the best pizzeria in town, a group of 8 (you gotta love a good melting pot: Swiss, German, French, English and Irish) decided to go on an exploration of the must-see places around San Agustin. Our (pretty well negotiated) tour included a visit to two waterfalls (Bordones and Mortiño), a stop at el Estrecho (by the Magdalena River) and a stroll in the two archeological parks (in San Agustin and Isnos). Boom! After a rainy start, the sky slightly cleared up and our tour became more pleasant. The Bordones fall was supposed to be 480-meter high and the second highest fall in South America but the Mortiño fall felt higher and more powerful. Go figure. Our driver Adrian was very knowledgable and we were lucky to have him as we could also improve our Spanish (his English being limited). It was a full-on day but worth it as the drive itself was pretty great. We drove onto dirt roads, through tiny villages, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. Exhausted but happy, we went back to our hostel to chill and treat ourselves to a nice homemade dinner (yes, Paleo. Happy me!).
It was a real shame to have to say goodbye to our funny and caring hostesses (we would really recommend a stay at the Bambu hostel while in San Agustin!) the next day and to some of the lovely travelers we had met but we were looking forward to traveling for a bit longer with an Anglo-Irish couple: Irene and James, especially as we were to embark on a journey on one of the most dangerous roads in the world. Next stop: Pasto… if we survive the trampoline of death! (Now THAT’s a name! Let’s hope it does (not) keep all its promises!