Old Friends,New Friends !!

Trip Start Jan 06, 2010
Trip End Feb 24, 2010

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Flag of Colombia  , Santander,
Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ville de Leyva is a sweet little village in the mountains where Bogatanians go to get away from the city.The surrounding hills are dry and dusty due to lack of recent rain,but the town is in full bloom.There are flowers of every shade and color falling like bright cascading watefalls from the fooftops. The main square is the largest in all of Colombia with a fountain at its center that served as the only water source for town for over four centuries. All of the streets are cobbled which looks very quaint but could easily account for a turned ankle or a quick way to the ground,you therefore must walk with your head down at all times to prevent impending disaster!

 One of Ville de Levya's claim to fame is its variety of good food...It dosen't dissappoint.We are treated to such delights as trout with a mango/coconut sauce...Yum!! We enjoy dinner at a beautiful rooftop restaurand decked out in antiques where a guitarist and his girlfriend sing us into the night while we look over the town and its illuminated church steeple.And of course we find the coolest little bar in town where they have a big screen TV and UB40 is on in concert. The owner sees that we are enjoying the video and puts it in every time we stop in.

One day we hike up to the top of the nearest mountain to catch a good view of the town and the valley that houses it,but mostly we relax and enjoy the town itself. One of the highlights in the streets of town was the filming of a Colombian TV series.Streets would be blocked off and sets arranged and filming in progress,as long as you were quiet and not in the way they allowed people to get up close and watch the action...Great  fun!!

   An hours bus ride away is the city of Tunja,where we bedded down for the night.The city is unremarkable and not at all touristed,but we met a Colombian and his girlfriend who ask us to join them for a beer.With his limited English and our even worse Spanglish,we still manage to have a lively conversation about Colombia,their politics and our politics.We emerged with some local insights that helped us to understand the country a little better.Mucho Gusto,Giovanni!!!!!

   Next stop...Barichara.Another four hour bus trip through mountains and jungle and more mountains we step off of the bus in this lovely colonial town.Not more than five minutes after our arrival we meet,Carlos,a fellow tourist,sitting under a tree in the park.Little does he know but he has done us a great service.Carlos has already scouted out the accomodations in town.This involves schlepping your backpack around town,going in and out of hotels,hostals and B&B's searching for a place that meets all of the criteria........Private bathroom,hot water,a window,reasonably cheap and last but not least clean! Bingo...Done!!! We head right for the hotel that Carlos and his girlfriend,Angela are staying at.

  The next four days we thououghly enjoy the company of our new friends,Carlos and Angela,who call Portugal their home.Both of them speak perfect English,Spanish and of course Portugese.Carlos kept us laughing....Non-stop!!! We shared many good meals including one at a restaurant famous for it's sauces made from big,fat,juicy.....Ants!!!!! Mark of course has to try the ants while we watch. All right I had a bite,too,a bit crunchy,a little nutty..No big deal!!
 One morning we all take the 11km hike to the neighboring village of Guane.The walk takes us down the old road,from ancient past and leads us down a steep hillside and meanders its way through farms and fields all the while being serenaded by birds of the brightest tropical colors all singing their own tunes but in perfect harmony.So peaceful!!

  Too soon we must part with our new friends who are headed south,while we are on our way north.But we are also reconnecting with our old friends,Paul and Lois for a night before we depart on the night bus for the Carribean paradise of Cartagena.
  Hasta Luego,Carlos and Angela,Que le via bien,We hope to see you again!!!!
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Linsey on

not sure those ants were so good. I remember a god awful after taste!!!! Blaaa. PS I had some Korean Silk Larva specialty today too...also not a favorite

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