Convinced that Ciudad Perdida (literally ‘Lost City’) was infected with bad energy, the oldest indiginous group in Colombia, the Tyronas, decided to close the city for a few months in order to cleanse it through their ceremonial practices. Then they opened it up for visitors again this fall. We decided to take the one possible route to see the mysterious abandoned town: A week-long transcendent treck through the tropical jungle of Sierra Nevada.
The crew: The Spanish and Colombian scientists, Gregory Hainz the Canadian, Amber Able the skiinstructor, Swiss Stefan, an actor, the hounds(wo)man hunting foxes with her hounds, her horse, a horn and a hat and the drumplaying flyfishing ex-pastor from Montana. All of us were under the ruling power of our local guide Miguel’s whistle for the past 5 days.
We tracked in open coca-fields, in the midst of the jungle, by waterfalls, natural pools, gigantic trees we all could fit in, cliffs, mules, slippery sloaps, steep sloaps, steaming sweat, mud, and suns rising through Mowgli’s morning misty lianas. And all this time we passed through indigenous ancient cultures that haven’t changed a bit since The Lost City was alive and functioning, more than a thousand years ago.
The Lost City is believed to have been the once mighty capital of the Tyronas, and the political and economic centre. It was also here the Shamans (spiritual leaders) practiced their offerings and ceremonies. The ancient now overgrown city was appearantly also once one of the largest cities on the subcontint with wide boulevards and road links. But without any written records, the archelogists are still trying to figure out what led the inhabitants to suddenly disappear without a trace, causing the embrace of mother earths branches for the following 1500 years or so. Until 8 farmers & grave robbers “found” it in 1973. The custom among the Tyronas was to bury the dead underneath the house, and then build a new house on top of the same ground. So even though the only visible layer was the top one, there were layers and layers of terraces (most of which had served as foundations for the houses) and tombs hidden underneath. The 8 farmers new this and digged for tombs with gold, but were killed shortly after by other farmers in foughts over the finds. Only by the mid 80-ies The Lost City was opened for public visitors, under the official Governmental “control”. But the indigenous are still in ruling. The 100% pure people who worship and live off of the nature are highly respected by their fellow Colombians. And many Colombians wants to believe they are “little brothers” of the indiginous Tyronas, who as early as in the 5th century AD had developed into an outstanding civiliazation based on complex social organization and advanced engineering. We were told a lot of insider stories on how they live their lives, but were also told not to spread them. So unfortunately I’m not gonna share the juicy details of the Tyronas, but I can say that their lifestyles are in many ways noteworthy. These indiginous are not caught in any kinds of wheels, and won’t accept money if it was thrown after them. They live in peace with the nature and the energies surrounding them (and us). The same energies that we in the “civilized” world are too busy and ignorant to recognize.
New #17 note to self: Don’t so easily use your relax-time infront of the telly, but spend more time in the nature. Are you in for a tenting summer in the Oslove jungle camp-comerades Marty T and Gunvor?
Psst… Rumors say there is one another lost city in the Colombian jungle, but the indiginous keeps the location for themselves…