Friday, 13 March 2015

Villa de Leyva

Our next stop from Bogota was the colonial town of Villa de Leyva. The journey offered us the most spectacular views of the Andes; the benefit of getting hot smelly buses is that it is possible to get a true sense of the country in which you are visiting. The road we used is a lifeline from the northern part of the country to the capital and it shows. Towns have popped up alongside the road which is often nothing more than dirt and a few cobbles. Countless mechanics, car garages, lorry parks and truck stops make up these towns and that is where the trade for the locals lie. The fumes from said lorries, most of which wouldn´t look out of place in a drag race, pollute the air and locals have taken to wearing surgical style masks to save their lungs. It is looking up though for the Colombians. In the next six years, the government is investing $7bn more to infrastructure, something which has only been made possible due to internal conflict dying down. If you look past this grimy facade, the countryside is absolutely breathtaking. The mountains tower so high above us they dont look real and they are beyond green due to the healthy dry and mild climate. 

After six short hours (short in comparison to the distances we were covering in Brazil!) we arrived in a town which is a weekend hotspot for rich bogotanos to retreat to. The streets are cobbled and the buildings pristine with donkeys and horses tethered to trees whilst their owners enjoy a midday cerveja. Unfortunately for me, I was unable to enjoy this beautiful town due to spending 14 hours in the hospital with the end result being a kidney infection diagnosis and countless antibiotics to keep me entertained for a week. Although there is not much in the way of sights to see, the area in which Villa de Leyva sits is one of natural beauty and has a peaceful atmosphere - something I hope to come back and experience again, properly, at some point in my life.