Waterfalls and mushrooms

Trip Start Dec 12, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Colombia  ,
Saturday, March 8, 2008

The ride first started as we headed back to Tunja. The further south we got the higher altitude accompanied and the scenery got more and more beautiful. We drove through green valleys ascending up the Andes until we reached the capital of the region, Tunja, that sits at a height of nearly 3000m. Tunja is an old capital spanning back hundreds and hundreds of years and used to be a central point in the area for native Indians, which is obviouse by the amount here. Their faces and outfit are so solid, and I dont think anything puts across the true South American feeling more than them.

The 4wd ride to Villa de Leyva, descended about 500m and was quite quick. We checked into the only hostel which was pretty clean and impressive and had hot water (unfortunately you had to pay for this...) We checked in and headed into town for a look around and a beer in the absolutely huge central plaza. Again this town had a similar colonial, yet more authentic feeling to it, as all of the architecture is painted white, which huge cobbled slabs for the streets. Except becaise this place is a bit bigger, it had alot more interesting craft stores we could browse. I bought myself a Bandana and a little present for Jas. However this night we had an early one, but not before the 3 of us having a few card games of Rummy and Shithead.

The next day I awoke extremely early due to having to goto the toilet at a rediculous hour and then not being able to get back to sleep. However I find more and more these days I require less sleep, and my day goes completely fine with little or none. Today we did some more browsing of the local town before hiking half way up the enormous mountains behind us to a look out of the town. It took quite a while and was steep, but gave such a beautiful panoramic view of the town. We sat there for a while, discussing religions views (as there is a huge statue of Jesus up there), relaxed for a while in the serenity and then back down to cook up a huge fiest for dinner! We must of eaten alot because the next morning I woke up and was still quite full. But today we have a big 25km round trip to see some ancient statues that used to be used for ritual ceramonies in pre hispanic times. The map that the local council gave us was in summary; extremely undetailed and just wrong. We had to make our own way there via directions from farmers and a rouge taxi driver. We finally arrived 2 hours later to find it closed on monday, haha typical! However all the statues were right next to the barbed wire fence and frankly we all were very unimpressed. Was some comedy though, as all the statues looked like huge versions of the male genatalia. But thats really all we had to say about that. We headed off in search of the Dinosour fossils, remaining here from when this place was once a sea, countless of billions of years ago. Funny thing is, Latin Americans arnt the most organised, so there were no markingts or signs where the fossils were, and with our map being useless we walked right passed it. We couldnt be bothered back tracking, so we rested on a bench next to a trailor deli, in the middle of no where and made a sandwitch. The walk back was long, but the exercise was refreshing and welcomed by myself. We also were lucky enough to get flipped the birdie by a couple of school kids as they flew by in a bus, haha!

Finally arriving back to town, we bought ingrediants for again, another fantastic rice and vegetable dinner, with myself saturating it with Colombians hottest Salsa I can find! Then proceeded to play more Rummy and Shithead with the English bloke for cash. I lost so badly as soon as money was involved. haha typical! But we were only betting a 1000 peso note (50c AUD), so it was just fun. But it gets so cold here at night in the crisp Andean air that we all have to rug right up.

Lately I have been completely loosing track of what day or date it is. I think its because I have slipped completely into the relaxed life style, and taking everything in its stride. Its a really good thing, and I find myself really supprised when I find out what date it is. I dont complain though, as it just means its one day closer until I am with my partner Jasmin again! I miss her soo much! I dont mean to wish my time here away, but the day I see her again, April 4th, couldnt come fast enough...

Our second to last day in Villa de Leyva, we hopped on the back of a ute and headed out of town through the hills to the countryside, where we got out and walked for over another hour through the scrub and forest to eat lunch and relax next to half a dozen different waterfalls. This area is also famous on the small backpacking circuit Colombia has, for Colombias finest magic mushrooms. So we hunted around and picked a couple to take back to the hostel. At night there was 9 of us (Including the 3 funny Irish blokes that finally rocked up today) that all played cards over a few beers till the wee hours of the morning. Bloody hell it gets very cold at night here!! Its good to finally get to bed under the 5 blankets that they provide for you here, haha!

In the morning 2 of the Irish guys, along with a French bloke, a Canadian girl and us 2 Aussies went for another walk in search of who knows what. We found a few waterfalls in mountain gourges. We all climbed up the top of one of the mountains to get another view of the surrounding areas. The Irish and French went off in hunt for more mushrooms and didnt come back for sooo long, and we left before we saw them again, so they were either extremely successfull or extremely unsuccessful. But we put our backpacks on (Andy, Matty and I) and trotted off to the bus station to head to Bogota, the nations capital.

Villa de Leyva has been great though. Every direction you look, you can see in the distance the towering Andes penetrating the clouds. With right next to us a few huge green mountains. There are virtually no tourists here at all, and I think between the 9 of us, we'd all would make up nearly 100 percent of the tourism here. This is typical throughout most of Colombia though. The locals are friendly and chatty, I found that quite a bit of Colombians here stop to take a picture of us. But the city definitely has a special tranquility about it, that makes you want to keep extending your stay, simply to walk the cobble stone streets.

But its time to go! Hasta Luego!

 To continue reading Clint's travel journal's and see more pictures, please visit WheresClint.com.
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andyc on

Go boys.....
Clint. What can I say. Your blog is just soooo good. Your information is just great. Keep it up bloke! The pictures are great and your commentary is just wonderful! It is so good to know what you guys are getting up to, and it sounds like you're having a fantastic time - We are soooo jealous. I can believe that you will never want to come back to boring old Adelaide, but I'm sure your mom hopes you will (some day)! Keep safe. Look after each other. Enjoy life. See the world for what it is, for your parents never had the chance! Ann and Andy send big hugs and kisses to Matty and you. Come back in one piece. Miss you heaps. Kiss, kiss (from Ann for Matty - he'll understand). Keep up the blog boy - you're our window into your lives.

19561 on

Amazing Colombia
Hi Clint-we have learnt so much about Colombia and what you guys are doing from your travel pod. The wonderful people you have met in this amazing country, our minds have been expanded.
Yes...Andy, wouldn't we love to be back in our twenties again to see the world as our kids are. Well it's never too late - Say hi to Matt and love to you both - Happy Travels - Mum and Dad xx

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