Days 349-351: Colonial towns and salt mines

Days: 349-351  -   Date: 9-10AUG14  -   Itinerary: Bucaramanga to Villa de Leyva to Zipaquira, CO  -   Miles: 265

On my way to Villa de Leyva and Zipaquira. Along the way were plenty of fun roads, as usual for Colombia. 🙂

Bmanga5CO_08Aug14_001villadeleyva6 CO_08Aug14_002 CO_08Aug14_003After a short half day ride, I arrived into the colonial town of Villa de Leyva. It’s a small town nestled in the hills of central Colombia and a popular weekend gateway spot for Rolo’s (people from Bogota).CO_09Aug14_001Again, I went to a hostel that was recommended by some ADV riders and I was not disappointed. Renacer Hostal is up on the hillside and overlooks the town. It’s a really tranquilo kinda place.

villadeleyva3villadeleyva1Villa de Leyva is known for its huge central square, which is supposedly the largest in all of South America. Lots of people walking around and flying kites. The place has a really laid back vibe with cafes and boutique shops scattered about.CO_10Aug14_Panorama_1villadeleyva2villadeleyva5villadeleyva4Since it was so nice, I decided to stay here for another day to relax a bit and then go for a hike with a couple of other travelers staying at the hostel. Around noon, we went down to the square to find lunch and buy a few things from the market to make dinner back at the hostel. CO_09Aug14_Panorama_1This French Bakery was super busy and really good. Some of freshest bread I’ve ever had.CO_09Aug14_003CO_09Aug14_004In the afternoon, a few of us went for a hike up the hillside, which provided a great view of the valley and town.CO_09Aug14_005 CO_09Aug14_007CO_09Aug14_008 CO_09Aug14_009Back at the hostel, we all hung out and made a big dinner together, which for me was fun and different than the norm. I’m not sure what dinner was called, but it resembled a big quiche kinda-lookin’ thing (no pics) that we baked over an open fire and was made with eggs and some local veggies purchased from the local street market. Some kinda British concoction.. It was really good. CO_10Aug14_001The next morning, I packed up and said goodbye to my fellow hostel friends. Back on the road for another short ride. Destination: Zipaquira. This place is famous for its old salt mines which were later transformed into an underground Cathedral.Bmanga4

Zipa1Zipa2Zipa3The entrance into the salt mines/cathedral. It was really really dark inside, so not many good photos.CO_10Aug14_002 CO_10Aug14_003 CO_10Aug14_004CO_10Aug14_005Zipa4Overall, a fairly cool place to check out if you’re passing by on the way to Bogota.

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