on January 2, 2013
Guimar was our last stopping place on our drive along the Forgotten Road, and we headed here to visit the pyramids.Guimar itself is quite a nice place, it has a lovely old town area and was actually one of the first places to be settled by the Spanish during their conquest of the Canary Islands. We wanted to visit the pyramids - we found signs for them driving into the town, but found it very difficult to actually get to them - a lot of concentration was required!In 1990, a discovery was made in Guimar which appeared to be step pyramids. This brought the explorer and anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl to the area, and he believed the pyramids were the same as those found in Peru, Mexico and Egypt. Heyerdahl became fascinated with these pyramids and spent the last 8 years of his life living in Guimar, building the park here and finding out more about the pyramids and their origin.Apparently there is some controversy about how old the pyramids actually are - a study recently did actually come to the conclusion that they date from the 19th century, but there is no mention of this at the centre here, instead they focus on the links to the ancient worlds.The shipping magnate Fred Olsen joined forces with Thor Heyerdahl and built a park around the site of the pyramids. As well as seeing them, there is information on the theories behind who built them and the migratory patterns of ancient civilisations. It is a very interesting and beautiful place to come to.There is plenty of parking outside the entrance, the park is open every day between 9.30am and 6.00pm and the cost is 10.40 Euros for adults and 5.30 Euros for children. They also offer audio guides which you can hire for an extra charge. We did not take these, but found it sufficient to read the numerous information boards (in different languages) located throughout the park.The whole place has a bit of a mystical air about it, it feels very serene and calm and the pyramids (whatever time they date from) are extremely impressive. Every hour they show a film in the auditorium all about the life of Thor Heyerdahl and his theories on these pyramids. It is fascinating, lasts 15 minutes and is available in 6 different languages. Due to the time when we arrived, we actually saw the film after we had visited the pyramids and the rest of the site. It would definitely be better if you could watch the film first when you arrive.It is a self-guided tour. You don't get up close to the pyramids, but you view them from a distance. It was blissfully empty during our visit, we felt we had the whole place to ourselves. The scenery is stunning too and makes a perfect backdrop. The mountains are wonderful and there is an amazing array of plants and vegetation to look at as you walk around.They also have an information centre/museum. There is a replica of the reed ship Ra II. Thor Heyerdahl sailed in this ship from Morocco to Barbados. The replica was built by the same tribe from Bolivia who made the original ship. There are lots of other interesting bits and pieces too, all focussing on early migratory tribes who Heyerdahl claims could have sailed the oceans of the world long before Christopher Columbus.There is also a lovely little cafe at the entrance with delicious snacks. They have floor to ceiling glass windows and a viewing area over the pyramids. It is the perfect place to end your visit.
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