Laguna Sagrada Guatavita
Hittys and humans went on a day trip to the sacred lake Guatavita, a little north of Bogota. This is a National Historic Site, where sacred ceremonies of the Muisca people took place in pre-Colombian times. The ceremonies involved a particular selected man, who was coated with sap of the Frailejones plant, and then with Gold dust. He and his attendants went to the middle of the lake on a raft, then he entered the water, the gold washed off and other votive offerings were given into the water.
The girls were very interested to see this lake, as they had heard so much about it during the last couple of weeks, and they had seen some of the gold pieces in the museum that came from here. They were less happy to hear about the rapacious people who, hearing about “El Dorado” desecrated the lake and caused gold fever in Europe in the 1500’s.
The gap in the hill behind Constance and Gracia was made by humans desperate to drain the sacred lake and extract the golden offerings. Luckily the present caretakers of Colombian Culture are serious about protecting the area from further despoiling, and visits to the lake are strictly controlled. One travels in a group with a guide and keeps to the indicated paths. This picture was taken on the way back to the car park, it is possible to take a bus back, but we decided to walk.
On the way back to the car, we passed the delightful Rancho Santa Parrillada and succumbed to the temptation to stop for lunch…first a delicious arepa con queso…
…washed down with fresh blackberry juice…
…finally, trout with almond sauce, with sides of rice, platano and salad! With such yummy Colombian food, we were fortified for the drive back to Bogota.