Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mysteries of Tayrona National Park - Colombia

The promised Mendihuaca Tour to Tayrona NP never materialized, so Louise & I took matters into our own hands this morning. At 9:00 a.m., we stood in front of the hotel and caught a bus (as if we were locals) to Tayrona (5 KM away). The cost was 2,000 Pesos ($1.25), and we waited less than 5 minutes. The entrance fee was pretty steep, however. Colombians pay $9,000 Pesos to our (foreigners that we are) $25,000 Pesos. Unlike Yosemite, there was no transportation provided to the trailheads, so we walked about an hour to the "9 Stones" trailhead. It was beautiful hiking, even on the main road, because it was shaded with huge rainforest trees and very peaceful. I just wish we had more time here to explore & understand the Tayrona ancient civilization. We saw 3 of the 9 stones (see the pictures above). The Tayronians somehow shaped the stones, mounted them & drilled holes into them. They foretold the future by facing the holes toward certain stars. Lots of mystery going on here. I'll have to return & camp on the beach next time (I can't afford the eco-lodges pictured here). We also saw loads of leaf-cutter ants (see the video). We'll head to Cartegena (the historic section -- where Louise & I will stay for 3 nights) tomorrow & drop Penny at the airport so she can catch her flight to Panama. Wish us luck!!

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