Arriving in the center, i soon got off the bicycle to push it through the cobblestoned streets. These were redone only sixty years ago to recreate the paving during colonial times, before the town was declared a national monument. Many overlanders travelling through Colombia stay at the Hostal Renacer, which offers camping and a nice atmosphere to relax. It is a bit outside the village up the hill and offers good views over the valley in which Villa de Leyva is located. I pitched my tent and enjoyed having a kitchen at my disposal for once, which makes things considerably easier. The next day, i first met Fernando from Argentina, then Iker from the basque country and then Victoire from France, and the four of us spent a good while together exploring the surroundings and having a good time in the evenings.
Fernando and Iker rented bicycles and we went for a ride to the “paso del angel”. The description of a walkway in between two canyons sounded really inviting. It was a nice ride out of town, slightly climbing towards Santa Sofia. Shortly after that village, the road dropped steeply and we were already wondering if the views would be that much better from the bottom of the valley. Well, we never found out. The axle of Iker’s bicycle broke and the frame was bent. Nothing we could fix on the road. We decided that the ride was wonderful as it was and we wouldn’t have to reach the walkway to call it a good day. So we walked back to Santa Sofia, where the two were taking the bus, and as there was hardly enough space for their bicycles, i set out on my own on the way back.
Here’s the great crew on one of the evenings.
Just behind the guesthouse starts a trek up the hill to some viewpoints. It is only a little hike about half an hour, but the views over the valley were already good.
…and once more with the four of us.
On the last night together, we decided to make use of the wood fired oven of the guesthouse, an opportunity too good to pass. It took about three hours to heat up that stubborn oven and sometime we lost all hope to get the pizza done that night. But with patience, playing music together…
and sufficient wine to pass the time, we finally got there that it was time to put the pizza in the oven.
By that time it had already melted with the carton we put it on, and it was anything but an easy task to maintain some sort of a pizza-like shape while shifting it from the carton into the oven. Despite its wrinkled appearance, it was the best pizza i had in years and also one of the best evenings in Colombia.
After a rather short night’s sleep, i went to the bus terminal to say goodbye. It would have been a really sad day, but luckily it was also the day that Felipe arrived in Villa de Leyva and i was meeting him an hour later at the central plaza. With him was his mother and his father, so Spanish went on to be the language of choice. The little plastic bag he put on the table didn’t do justice to the importance of its contents. The shift-lever and a camera, so this place here will get some more photos, though the time without camera wasn’t bad and thanks to other people, i could still get some photos uploaded.
The next day we went to the house of Felipe’s mother and had a look around the garden. Find of the day was the lulo fruit. I don’t know how many new fruit i tasted for the first time while travelling, but it is good to see that there seems to be plenty more to discover.
I followed the world cup in Brasil while travelling, though i watched mostly only the second half of a game, when i stopped for a break. On a sunday here in Villa de Leyva, i took the time to watch the final together with Felipe and a dozen other colombians in a small café in town.
After a week, it was finally time to move on. With a wonderful week behind me, i set out excited by what was to come.