After having a great time around the Caribbean coast, we felt the need to cool a bit off and escape from the insane humidity, so decided to take the bus to the middle of Colombia just north-east of Bogota. As Susana was short of time, we thought we would like to experience some village-life around the mountains. Our first pick was Barichara which was voted as the most beautiful community in Colombia. No wonder why, beautifully maintained village a great atmosphere and even more kind ppl than on the coast. (This sentence will be a regular one from now on this blog, as in Colombia locals are really wonderful and more you travel to the south more you will feel this, and do not misunderstand! The folks from the coast are extremely lovely as well. I only met this friendliness in Laos before)
After spending a few days here although it is really magical we where keen to see something even smaller, less touristy, and higher altitude. Our pick become Mongui, which supposed to be same charming and less visited.
This is really the land of thick ponchos and very stylish hats, a high altitude cowboy-land. What made Mongui famous is that it is the ball making capital of Colombia or basically for the whole region possibly. All sort of balls from a football to basketballs, American footballs… you name it. As I’m not a great ballgame fun, was not too excited about it first but by the end I found it really interesting. some 50percent of the population is living from the ballproduction and almost all the balls distributed across the country is made here.
On arrival, which was quite late at the evening, we went for the only open option in the village to eat, bumped into a handful of locals drinking heavily, seems like the only sensible entertainment around is to get drunk, they where really friendly, so we left the place with quite a bit of spirit in our stomach, regardless if we where up to it or not. 🙂
On the way to Mongui, we met our first “annoying passenger” he was traveling on the same bus rather drunk feeling the need of communicating with us. While he was really annoying, he brought back some nice memories traveling around the Istans. Other notable event is the fact that while we only realized it on the last day, but Barichara is famous about the toasted giga-ants, so before we seated ourself on the bus I picked up a small bag, sadly, we just realized how tasty they are, if I know it before, I would have bought a large box of them.
After a few days we where again siting on a bus, at this time to Villa de Leyva, which is the local tourist hotspot for visitors coming to the region. We where not really keen on it, but was on the way towards Bogota, so seemed like a sensible option. The town itself is nothing new a nice big square, but otherwise it is entirely similar to the first two. Anyway we still enjoyed our stay to the max, especially that I managed to sell a few really heavy items from my backpack. At least I can lift it now 🙂
From here as Susanas time was quickly coming to the end and she really wanted to see the Amazonas we decided to take a plane from Bogota and fly to Leticia, which is the capital of the Amazonas district of Colombia. Initially we planned to head to Pacoa, or Mitu, booth of witch are way less popular destination, really off the track but all the planes where sold out for the next two-three weeks, and approaching them on land it a slightly risky mission, you have to cross or go closeby red districts.
It may seem that this blogpost is rather short and you dear reader could conclude that we did not enjoyed our time at Boyaca and around, but that is absoluletly untrue, simply just less interesting story happened compared to the previous post and indeed compared to the following one. Colombia still rocks!