in order to escape the city for a few days before bob’s sister emily arrived, we headed north through the countryside to a small colonial town called villa de leyva. lots of colombians and tourists alike told us it was a must see place. the ride there was pretty spectacular itself. the valleys are expansive here and you can see miles and miles of mountainside farms and lush green hills. we took a few pictures in route, but the camera really doesn’t do the view justice.
we got into villa de leyva late in the afternoon and quickly found ourselves on the rough cobblestone streets typical of the city center of an old colonial town. these were huge stones, and a litttle tricky to maneuver, but we made it through town and found the hostel we were looking for just up the hill from the city center. they had camping available and a pretty nice common space. so, we jumped at the chance to save some money while still getting use of a bathroom and kitchen.
the four nights we spent in villa de leyva went by in a flash. we kept pretty busy and also enjoyed the company of some travelers from all over the world at the hostel (south africa, the netherlands, argentina, belgium, colorado). it was a great place to practice our spanish, too, because most folks were trying to stick to spanish there. we feel like we are finally improving on that front. so, we get excited at the chance to chat with folks whenever we can.
we headed back to the city yesterday to await emily’s arrival. but, we stopped in a little town called chia for the afternoon to meet our friend andrea for lunch. it turned into an entire afternoon of events: lunch in the historic center of town, an adventurous car ride with her brother and cousins up to a church overlooking the city, and then we stopped by a dairy factory where they had a grocery store full of milk products and desserts. colombians like to eat. we got a huge day of spanish practice with andrea and her family. and by the end of it we were brain-dead and had a long drive of bumper-to-bumper city traffic to deal with in order to get back into bogota. but, we made it. we found a hostel and are anxiously awaiting emily’s arrival this evening. we’re so excited to have another visitor and to explore more of colombia with her!