Once we summoned up enough energy we became good tourists and went to check out the sights. The main attraction near Ipiales is a huge church built on a stone bridge in a deep gorge
. The church was built in 1803, after an image of the Virgin Mary appeared on the rock in the gorge. We walked around the area for a while and took lots of photos; the church was quite spectacular to see and they had left the rock face exposed on the inside of the church. It seemed like a real architectural accomplishment for the church to have been built in such a precarious place in the early 1800s. There were lots of local Colombians strolling around and taking photos also, as the Church is a big pilgrim destination. We stayed for an hour or so and then walked back up the steps to the town, which the most difficult part of the day, as our calves don't like steps at all at the moment.
In the evening we spent some time looking at our maps and the Lonely Planet for Ecuador, and made our plan to set off the following day. We are both looking forward to moving on to a new country, but are quite sad to say goodbye to Colombia, as it’s been such an interesting country to explore and everyone has been so friendly to us. All in all, it was a much needed relaxing day, and it was nice to spend one last day being a tourist in Colombia.
We had all the best of intentions of crossing the border to Ecuador today, and even got up early to eat breakfast like on a normal cycle day. However, we were both tired from the long slog of yesterday and lacked any motivation to cycle anywhere. I think the hills from Popayan over the past week had really taken it out of us, as we were cycling for 6 hours most days and a lot of that was up hill. Therefore we got up, had showers, ate breakfast and then went back to sleep. It was the first time that we have done that, as usually we decide the day before about our plan for the next day and we stick to it, but we were both exhausted. We must've both been tired because we slept all morning and half of the afternoon.