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Tierradentro


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In these quiet places we more often than not stay at hospedajes that seem to double as people's houses. Here at Viajero we are the only guests of a kindly old woman who appears to live alone. It is a house that reminds me in spirit of my parents' home--a potted plant on every surface and in every corner; kept clean but not overly clean; practically decorated with individual objects displaying a tendency toward taste or personality but with no unifying vision, the result of which is an impression of lived-in coziness. I suspect my own home will be the same one day.

We are inexplicably tired. Perhaps from walking too long beneath the sun. All day long Chris heaved little sighs of fatigue. I listened without comment, only trudged on to the next archaeological site. We descended into countless tombs, snapped the obligatory photos (of course I sneer at myself for taking them, but I can't stop). Later we thought how strange it was to essentially be touring a cemetery (albeit an ancient one), poking around in the emptied out burial chambers of strangers. Why it should seem odder today than at other visits to archaeological sites I'm not sure. Perhaps in other places you get the sense that there's more--the rubbles of homes, a palace, a worship area. Here--just graves. Graves without purpose, for these bones have been carefully swept up and locked away. Bones of important people, sometimes painted (though I dare not imagine the grisly scene that accomplished that). I could never be an archaeologist. One tomb seemed like another. I could not imagine the people they used to contain, could not imagine those people's precious lives, used up, finally. Many tombs contained a child, buried with one or two adults. Famine, plague, war, accident? Too ancient, too unfathomwble.

Do I come here for the pretty views then? Why do I come?

Posted by chschen 16:00 Archived in Colombia

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