Mountain range, plain and sun where grow the faith and the hope and a better homeland is forged…
Is wonderful to perceive how the senses are quiver when you step on flat earth when you get to the Llano (plain), when you watch the amount of vegetation, and above fall that satisfaction feeling with the Mother Nature… ¡Is really incredible!
Generally, the Colombian plain is one of the best destinations to visit. Specifically, in this space I want to talk about Casanare, this department that is located in the oriental mountain ranges of The Andes, which is part of the eastern lowlands and is just 387 km from Bogotá, in other words, is approximately 7 hours by car and 45 minutes by plane.
Casanare has 19 municipalities of which I have been very fortunate to visit 6, and I must admit that after this short tour through the Colombian plain I know how the paradise looks like.
- Main Plaza, Yopal, Casanare
Yopal, the capital, a municipality where approximately 142 thousand of working people inhabit who are rooted to the culture of the contra punteo, the joropo and the vaquería.
*Contra punteo: is a challenge of songs between troubadours
Joropo: traditional genre musical and dance from The Llano.
*Vaquería: Typical daily work with livestock from The Llano.
The most beautiful of this place is that in spite of the architectural advance and the new technologies, don’t lose that spirit of its culture, that atmosphere that wherever you walk you find a tree, green areas, people with hats and alpargatas (espradille), sometimes barefoot people because like that is the typical peasant from The Llano.
- The life in The Llano.
I lived in Yopal approximately 9 years, which were enough to know the culture of The Llano, to fall in love with the sunrises and sunsets, to know that the best way of joining them is hearing and singing out loud «Llanero, sí soy llanero primo…»
One of the best places to do this, without a doubt is in the garcero del llano, the perfect place where the herons come after 5:00 pm, where the people go to drink a beer while hearing songs of Lorgio Rodríguez, Walter Silva and for sure «El Cholo» Valderrama.
- Garcero del Llano, Casanare
What really convinced me was The Cimarrón, an autochthonous event of the culture, where the big voices of the Llano music are reunited to delight us with its talent.
This event has different categories, among them voice recia and voice pasaje, but I have to admit that my favorite moment is the contrapunteo, where two of the singers are faced in a «push and pull» with couplets that are born from the improvisation and from the heat of the moment. Definitely, this modality of the Llano folklore is beyond compare.
- Farm el Cedral Yopal, Casanare
Another component of this folklore is the joropera, where dozens of dancers go through the Yopal streets dancing to the rhythm of the harp and the maracas. Is incredible the talent and the resistance, since, despite the heat for them means more to represent that identity of which they feel really proud.
In that years I had the good fortune to know some destinations nearby the capital of The Llano, among those, my favorite, Pore.
- Pore, Casanare
This place is marked by history. The inhabitants of this small municipality said proudly that in the colonial times, during the beginning of the liberator campaign of Colombia, Pore was the capital of the Nueva Granada republic.
- Main Plaza, Pore, Casanare
Therefore, one of its touristic attractions are the Spain prisons, which are located in the Main Plaza, that even in ruins refused to be forgotten and resisting to the violence of which Casanare have been victim in the past years.
- Old Spain prisons, Colombian ruins.
- Ruins of the Bolívar quarter, National historical heritage.
Many claims that have been few the modifications made in the place. Pore remains almost intact, with the same streets of the 19th century.
- Colonial ruins built using carved stones.
It’s very striking the conservation of the places, which have the power to take us back to that liberator time and for a moment imagine personalities like Ramón Nonato Pérez, Juan Galea and Francisco de Paula Santander walking down those paths. That’s why was declared historical and cultural heritage of the Nation.
- Hear, dialogue, comprehend and forgive.
Next to Pore we find another municipality, La Paz de Ariporo, which gets its name because of the peace process along the Ariporo River, where Guadalupe Salcedo and its troop gave its weapons to the general Duarte Blum.
- Way to La Paz de Ariporo, Casanare.
This municipality is one of the biggest from the department, the best plan is to do an ecological tour, due to the several amounts of Capybaras, which complements with the landscape of infinite rivers and the flat view of the horizon.
One January I discover one of the other 19 municipalities, Maní. Maní is surrounded by the Cusiana River, where every January, the fests are celebrated, yes, the fests are on the river bank and are characterized by the great cultural performance.
- Way to Maní, Casanare
The most beautiful of this place are the monuments located in the Main Plaza, a giant Bandola accompanied by three lions, a monument in honor of the women from The Llano because the women of the Llano is strong and independent.
- Támara, Casanare from the viewpoint.
Another municipality that is worthwhile to know is Támara, which is located at the top of the mountain, it is therefore gratifying to feel that cold wind in the full sun and heat of the midday.
This place is characterized by being the coffee municipality of Casanare. Who hasn’t tried the coffee from Támara, don’t know anything about coffee.
- Coffee drying in the Main Plaza of Támara, Casanare.
Next to the Main Plaza is the Coffee Association of Támara, and you can see in the Plaza how the coffee grains dries under the sun and an indescribable taste is impregned.
- Támara streets, Casanare
Go to Támara is go to the viewpoint, where a panoramic view of wonderful foothills from The Llano is appreciated. Furthermore, it is interesting to note how the relationships are legitimized in a place called «cuatro esquinas» (four corners), where everybody knows everybody.
- Cuatro esquinas Támara, Casanare
In conclusion, all the municipalities from Casanare are worthy of visit because they refuse to set aside its culture because they are proud of its folklore.
- Man of the Llano on a horse by the Támara streets.
In the street you can still see man on horses with hats and alpargatas, strong and struggling women, barefoot children playing on the street, free animals running in the mountain, and above all you always here its music, no matter the place you are you will always hear a harp accompanied by a voice that tells stories of love, heartbreak, landscapes, legends, drunkenness and from the sublime beauty of The Llano and its wonderful folklore.
Estefanía Pulido Rivera
Estudiante de periodismo y opinión pública. Animalista, amante de los gatos y de la fotografía. Apasionada por la vida y los pequeños detalles que capturo a través del lente. Escribo para sanar el alma, escribo por diversión.
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