Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's a jungle out there...

I am thoroughly enjoying this little village. There's weird bugs and giant plants. It rains all the time. A massive blanket of foliage is always hovering, ready to take back any man-made creation. It sounds a bit melodramatic, but you get that feeling while walking around.

Then Kyle told me about the original village of El Palmar, abandoned and destroyed by floods in the nineteen eighties. I'm not kidding. The entire village I'm staying in is where the inhabitants fled to when a river suddenly changed course and ripped their little village in two. When Kyle told me this, I imagined a small ravine, maybe five or six feet wide. This is what he meant...

If you look closely, you can see half of the church on the left and a buried market on the right. It's crazy to think this small canyon was created in just 30 years. I said that aloud, then Kyle told me that most of it was created in under 10.

So we continued to explore the recent ruins, which was very interesting to say the least. After seeing some of the excavated ruins in Greece and Italy, I understand so much better how bustling centers of trade (like Olympia and Ostia Antica) can suddenly disappear because a river changes direction. As of 1982, nothing in this village was wrong.

We crawled into the "market," a dark hole in the grass with about four feet of standing room left inside. Silt had piled up when the river was higher. I couldn't see anything, but with a flash you can see writing on the walls. Neat, huh?

The graveyard was especially creepy. I'm not sure if grave robbers ransacked the place before or after the vines took over.

An old church on top of a hill. People who went to this church are still alive.

An old grave. This is where the jungle ends and the weird, wet safari begins.

The canyon was definitely my favorite. That bridge is so stereotypical jungle-adventure movie. There was even a gap in the wood where your foot can conveniently fall through if you're that guy in the movie.

Here's Kyle. I've decided that he's a bit more jungle-photogenic than me.

It could be the hat...

So... this village is awesome. The people are very friendly and starting to recognize me. I'm starting to learn Spanish better and can actually have small conversations with people. Overall, I'm having a good time.

Oh yeah, there's also a small waterfall we can swim in, about a five minute walk away.
Yeah, I'm serious. Yes, It's nice.

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