The last week or so has been a wonderful little journey of discovery. After dropping Sal and Shaun at the airport early in the morning we hit the road for a long day of driving, with the aim of getting to Bogotá in a couple of days. The van is back to its good old self and we put in a huge 10 hour drive in the first day. But after that, we slowed down.
Not because of the van, but because we have been continually surprised and enchanted by the mountain scenery and the beautiful little towns dotted throughout the hills. We couldn’t help smiling as we drove through the Chicamocha Canyon. It felt good to be on the road again, and in the mountains with expansive views opening up before us.
We took a few detours to visit some small towns along the way. The kind of places that make you want to stay a while and wander aimlessly through cobbled streets and town plazas. So, that’s pretty much what we’ve been doing.
The picture perfect town of Barichara
It took us quite a while to get to our next stop. The day’s drive took us through some beautiful dairy country of rolling green hills. Farmers hand milked their cows in the fields then waited on the side of the road with their steel churns for the milk truck to come by in the afternoon. We stopped often to buy locally made snacks and dairy products. After missing a turn and taking a 2 hour detour we finally rolled into the camping area of a hostel in Villa de Leyva just after dark.
We spent a few days here, because we liked it so much and we were in the mood for some downtime. When the weather was good, we spent our days exploring the village and hiking up to a lookout point high above the town. Scenes from Villa de Leyva
The weather rolling in
When the weather turned cool and rainy, (a welcome change from the heat of the Carribbean), we had the perfect excuse to hang out in the van with a cup of tea and a book or a movie.
There are loads of little attractions for the weekend crowds around Villa de Leyva, so we hit up the local deli for picnic supplies and headed out on the bikes to find a nice spot for lunch.
One of our favourite spots was the Casa Terracota. A passion project of an architect from Bogotá, it’s a house entirely handmade from terracotta. Every inch of the house is a custom handmade work of art. There are no straight lines anywhere, it’s all odd curves and lumpy walls. Inside it just feels comfortable and peaceful, sort of like a cave, but with natural light pouring in from every direction.
It’s open to the public for a small fee, and I was able to chat to the builder about the curing process. Since you can’t exactly put the house in a kiln, instead, when a new section is under construction he lights a big coal fire inside the structure and it cures from within. One of the pillars in the back patio was undergoing this process when we were there. Boring details for some, but not for me.
Posted from Bogotá, Colombia.