Tejo is considered the national game of Colombia (well, maybe the 2nd national game after soccer), so when we had a chance to go play it last Saturday night, we couldn't pass it up. Tejo is kind of like horseshoes or beanbag toss on steroids. Basically you throw a heavy metal disc at an angled box of clay with a small metal ring in the center. Placed around the metal ring are small paper triangles filled with gunpowder. If your metal disc hits the metal ring at the spot where one of the paper triangles is, the gunpowder explodes. Sounds like fun right!
And the explosions were much louder than that where we were playing since it was indoors! We divided our group of teachers and friends into 2 teams (the USA vs. the World team made up of 2 Canadians, a Colombian, and a Honduran) and began tossing our discs. You get one point for whichever disc is closest to the center ring, 3 points for putting the disc into the ring, and 5 points if one of the gunpowder triangles explodes. We kept score and ended up playing to 100 points (unfortunately the World team won) which took a couple of hours, but it was so much fun that it seemed like way less time than that. The second best part of the game (after getting to make things explode with gunpowder of course) is that playing is free; you just pay for whatever you drink during the game! Here are a few pictures to get those of you who are coming to visit us excited because we will definitely take all of you to play when you get here!
Our Colombian host for the evening, Guillermo, showing us how it's done.
Heather giving it a go.
My turn. I was actually pretty good until the we got near the end of game and I had a few more refreshments than were conducive to my hand-eye coordination.
As you can see, the clay is soft enough that the discs stick in it when they hit. If you look closely, you can see that the one in the center hit one of the paper triangles on the right side of the metal ring and made it explode and burn leaving some black marks on the clay.
Everybody gathered around getting their discs out and measuring to see who was closest.
We were playing on the "kiddie" courts where we only had to throw the discs about 40 feet. You can see the "big boy" courts here where people were throwing their tejos something like 90 or 100 feet... maybe next time we'll be ready.
This old-timer on the kiddie court next to us was looking at us disapprovingly all night and shaking his head at some of our throws. Oh well, we had fun despite our overall lack of skill, some funny looks from the locals, and a few errant throws. I can't wait til next time!