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A QUICKY

OR WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT CARTAGENA!

TOP TIP: Don’t come here it’s vile. I loved the rest of Colombia and have moved into the Old Town now but Boca Grande is shit and not for the solo traveller. Let’s hope I’ll be happier here…. It’s pissing down too. I’m feeling really low and so I thought I’d tell you you can get like this don’t be scared. I’ll be watching Netflix later and listening to audiobooks, it usually disperses the blues that can come out of nowhere and really freak you out. Deep breath and wait for it to stop raining and hit the museums…… or just wait for my bloody room and Netflix it!!!

OVER AND BLOODY OUT!!

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INCAS AREN’T SCARED OF HEIGHTS.

OR YES, BUT OLD BIRDS ARE, THEY CAN’T FLY!

OR THE END OF THE INCAS (HOORAY?!)

ALERT:Off to pastures new now. Looking back further in history to what I think are the more interesting predecessors on the lowlands by the sea. I’m going to Trujillo because most people don’t! I will look at the periods from 1200 B.C. to 1470 A.D. when the Inca interfered again. This means the Moche and Chimu and the mysterious Lady of Cao. See you there.

Back in Cusco after the mad train journey, I slept like a baby only to be kicked out of the pretentious hilltop hotel as they had accepted a large group swearing blind I hadn’t confirmed my extended booking. I moved down the street a bit to a new hotel absolutely furious but then settled in to a day of laundry and catching up with el bloggo!

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AT LAST! MACHU PICCHU!

OR I DID IT SOLO DESPITE THE ODDS! BRAVO TO ME!!

Hard work and persistence despite not walking the famous Inca trail. I had booked bus tickets to go up the final ascent, you can walk but it takes about two hours and do you really want to exhaust yourself by doing that before you even enter the site? Not on your Nelly! (ooh Nelly Dean my local, I want a beer now!)

The great Machu Picchu
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OF FORGOTTEN GODS AND TOTEMS

Or San Augustin Archaeological Park amazes.

The two days I spent visiting the lava stone funerary monuments was the natural progression from the tombs of Tierradaentro and the original reason to travel South to the more isolated and dangerous regions of South Colombia. This UNESCO site is worth all the blood, sweat and tears it took to get there.  According to UNESCO, who named San Agustin a World Heritage Site in 1995, the San Agustin Archaeological Park, “bears vivid witness to the artistic creativity and imagination of a pre-hispanic culture that flowered in the hostile tropical environment of the Northern Andes.”

Monolithic guards and gods and anthropomorphic creations.

You’re fine when you reach San Augustin, it’s a mellow picturesque little town and visiting the incredible sites there is safe for a woman alone, it’s outside those places on isolated roads you have to be careful. On that nightmare trip from Tierradentro I thought I’d had it. It was more the constant road signs that warned of guerrillas in the area and the sudden police check that showed me that there were still risks in this magnificent country.

Guard to each tomb individual and amazing.
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PAINTED TOMBS AND DANGER.

OR BEING STOPPED BY THE POLICE ON A REMOTE MUD TRACK.

The whole reason I wanted to come to Colombia was for some of its amazing and mysterious archaeology. I’ve been getting it in bucketfuls, and indeed nearly kicked the bucket for one of my most important things on my bucket list ha ha.

The amazing painted tombs of Tierradentro and San Augustins funerary statues were top of my list

Pretending to be brave.

Alert: This trip is not for the faint hearted. The journey is arduous and the final climb up to the tombs harsh. Descending into the tombs is very dangerous, the steps are VERY steep and there is nothing to hold onto and there a sheer drop to the bottom. I was very scared much to the amusement of the guards. I was later told that many people refused to go down into them even after all their exertions to get there. The reason given for the lack of some kind of handrail was that it would spoil the aesthetics of the design! Please don’t consider this if you are scared of heights , are claustrophobic and, if you value your life!