I have friends in town from Europe, and a couple of days ago we took a short trip up towards Woodstock and the Catskills. I had never been to this part of New York State (or very much outside NYC to be honest), so it was nice to have the opportunity to explore a bit. I had heard amazing things about Woodstock the town (not to be confused with Woodstock the music festival which was many miles away), but I have to admit it didn’t seem like much other than a sad, overpriced tourist trap for aging hippies. The surrounding towns were much more interesting, especially Kingston, the first capital of New York. And even better, the surrounding landscape was breathtakingly beautiful. Just outside of Woodstock is a wonderful trail to a lookout point with ruins of a fancy hotel and a fantastic view of the surrounding area. I uploaded a bunch of photos of the trip, so if you want to see them click below to go to the full album.
Maybe it was all the dust emanating from the northern Peruvian desert. Or the physical ugliness of the city of Chiclayo. Or the maddening lack of detail at some of the museums. Or just the viewing of one too many decapitated heads, mummified remains, Moche vessels, or gold head dresses. Whatever the cause, somewhere between the fabulous remains and ruins of Sipan and Sican, I began to suffer archeological overload.
I realize that It is time to change my themes and country. Which falls at a really good time, as I happen to have a plane ticket to Buenos Aires leaving on Tuesday.
In between making each other nervous as hell with our respective driving styles, Arnaud and I stopped at a site known as Toniná. The ruins here are quite amazing, predating those at Palenque by a few hundred years and only fairly recently investigated by archaeologists. Because they are fairly newly studied, there are far fewer visitors to the site and one has the sense of taking part in the discovery of the ruins. There are also far fewer barriers to climbing all over the ruins, which is probably really bad for them but makes for great fun. We felt like we were re-enacting our own version of Raiders of the Lost Arc, climbing in and out of tight places, tunnels, up along parapets, pyramids and so on.