Warm and Windy

Thursday, April 10, 2014
Villa de Leyva, Colombia
I had a few things I need to accomplish today, one of them being to buy my bus ticket for tomorrow. Another being to try to withdraw cash from an ATM. I got ready and headed out the door at 7:45, feeling awesome for it being early. I wanted to go to this waffle place for breakfast, only to discover it was closed when I arrived. I went to another place...closed until 8:30. That seemed to be the theme of the morning. Not one to waste time, I got cash from an ATM and bought my bus ticket. By this time I was ready to eat my left arm, so I sat down in the first cafe I found and ordered an arepa with meat and some fresh papaya.  

I also really wanted to see Pozos Azules (Blue Lakes) today, and it looked walkable from town . My hostess, Karen, said it was about a 20-minute walk. I should've been skeptical as their website also says this place is "12 minutes" from the Plaza. I start walking. And I keep walking. Then I'm going uphill. It was hot today and very windy. I finally came upon the sign and saw that it was closed. I walked past it and ran into a woman named Margarita who ran a school here. She said, "would you like to see the nicest room of books in VDL?" Of course I did, so she showed me. She called it her library, and she owned all the books. She makes it available for professors to do research. She was a nice lady, and told me the lake might be open in the afternoon. Because it's privately owned, there aren't really set hours. So I made my way back to town, this time it being a bit easier. All of a sudden, a car pulled up next to me, and the guy driving offered me a ride back to town. I know I should've said no, but I didn't. It turns out he was born in Miami and is now studying online. This town is super safe, so I probably would not do this anywhere else, but felt it was ok here .  

In the afternoon, I made the right move and hired a cabbie to take me to the lakes. For $10, he drove me there, walked on the paths with me (which seemed a little odd, but ok) and drove me back. Yeah, that's the way to do it. The lakes, as you can see by the pics, are really beautiful. I was glad I got to see them.

VDL also has a number of stray dogs, and I imagine this will be the case in most of Colombia. One of them made me really sad, so I stopped and bought some saltines to feed to him. I probably shouldn't have done it, but I don't care. In fact, I gave saltines to about 7 other dogs on my walk home. One didn't want them, and that was ok. I imagine they get food from most of the restaurants, and at least the weather is nice here, so it's probably not a terrible place to be a stray. Most of the time they are lying in the sun. 

Tomorrow I head back to Bogota and fly to Armenia in the coffee region. From there I will bus it or take a cab to the little town of Salento. Sometimes cabs are just worth it, I am finding. It will be an early morning, so I need to hit the hay. So far I'm liking Colombia, and I hope those feelings continue!