November 12, 2013
We had another 5am morning, but we didn’t mind so much because we were finally going to Ciudad Perdida, the once “lost city”. It wasn’t really lost, the native people who live in the area knew where it was the whole time, but it was “discovered” by looters in 1972. It has since been protected by the government, partially reconstructed, and now hosts a permanent Colombian Army post.
After a quick breakfast, we hit the trail, crossed a stream and encountered a long, steep set of stairs.
After a 20 minute climb, we entered a grass covered courtyard. The group rested for a few minutes and than the tour began. The city had not been used for several centuries, so the guides could only speculate what certain areas were used for. My favorite was the teleportation portal. The locals would sit in a shallow, stone pit and their minds would visit other locations while their bodies remained behind. The trip was apparently aided by the use of some local medicinal plants.
Another interesting artifact was a large rock with many scratch marks all over the surface. Manuel said that the rock was a map of the area and displayed all the rivers. I don’t think I would use it for navigation, but it was cool.
Eventually, we brought to the highest part of the settlement, which offered some incredible views.
The layout of the city seemed to be based on clusters of raised circular areas where huts once stood. Paths wound through the non-linear spaces between the circles. There were a few of the thatched huts in the lower part of the city, both new and old. The oldest one was somewhere around 50 years old, and was covered in vegetation.
After two hours of wandering through the lost city it was time to hike back. We were headed back to Manuel’s place, where we had stayed two nights earlier. The hiking was much quicker, because we knew what to expect, but it was a long day and we were happy to see our hammocks. We spent our last night as a group chatting with Manuel about Wiwa customs.