As we woke this New Year's Eve we heard the rain falling. Ah well, rain is a necessary component for the rain forest. Undeterred, we put on our slickers and headed to Guayabo National Monument for a tour the archaeological site. After a short introduction by the guide, we were able to explore the area that was thought to be inhabited from 1000 B.C. to 1400 A.D. We hiked through the lush forest with a variety of different looking trees. There were several tombs that were stone lined rectangular structures recessed into the ground. The trail led us out of the forest and to viewpoint that allowed us to see the size of the site. There were aqueducts and pools that made up the elaborate water system. Mounds of various sizes were the foundations for homes and other buildings. It was fascinating to see the carved stones, some with recognizable images and some with mythical type creatures. The guide described the culture as having some aspects of those to the north such as the Maya and Aztecs and some aspects of those to the south, specifically the Inca. As we wound around the open area, the trail bordered a long stone lined avenue where it was thought that traders bringing goods ceremoniously entered the community. It was apparent why the Monument was declared a World Heritage Engineering site.
Next on the agenda was the transfer to the Savegre Mountain Lodge. So we left the Turriabla area for our next adventure. We wound our way through the hills and valleys passing farms and villages that each has their own unique ambiance. We passed through the city of Cartago before we began the climb up and over the mountain to the Savegre Reserve. We arrived weary from a long day but were amazed at the variety of birds buzzing all around as we walked to reception. What a truly unique way to begin a new year!