Villa de Leyva, Colombia, South America
I had a great day coming up north to Villa de Leyva today! I got up and left my hotel in Bogota at 7:30am, and they were nice enough to hang onto my big backpack for me while I’m gone. So I jumped on a Transmilenio bus heading north and got to Portal Del Norte bus station by 8:30am. I was hoping that it was going to be easy enough to find a bus to Villa de Leyva from Bogota, but it was not as easy as I expected. The next direct bus was at 3pm, and there was no way I was sitting around this bus station for the next five hours, so I decided to get a bus in the right direction and figure it out from there. So I hopped on a Libertadores bus to Tunja, which is only about 40 miles from Villa de Leyva.
It was a direct bus to Tunja, so within three hours we were there. It doesn’t look like there was much to see in that town, so I started looking for busses going to VDL and found one within a few minutes. Luckily for me it was leaving in ten minutes, so the timing was perfect. This was more of a mini bus, whereas the first one was a big fancy coach bus, but both were comfortable and got me to my location quickly. They were also pretty cheap at 17,000 and 6,500 pesos respectively (£5.50 and £2.25).
I got into VDL at about noon and found my hotel really easily. It’s a tiny town, so there wasn’t much room to get lost. Hotel El Solar is really nice, especially for the money. It’s only £13 a night for a king room with a private bathroom to myself. You can’t beat that. I headed out to get some lunch and found this really cool place that had about thirty different kinds of wraps. I had one of the weirdest, but tastiest wraps I’ve ever had, and the presentation was excellent. The wrap had chicken, cheese, cantaloupe, strawberries, mango, lettuce, tomato, and sesame seeds in it. It was really bizarre, but had a nice taste.
After lunch I went to explore the town and started at a place I saw online that was a 15 minute walk from the center, called the Casa Terracotta. It is exactly what it sounds like. A house made of terracotta. It looks like it belongs in either Gaudi’s Parc Guel, or the Flintstones. It is really weird looking, and doesn’t fit in this area at all, but it is still cool. I met a couple of other travelers while I was there too. Elizabeth the Aussie and Justin the American met in Bogota and have been traveling together for a few days. They invited me to join them for dinner, so I did.
I explored the town for a little while longer and then met them in the main square. We went out for dinner and had italian food, of course. It was good food with incredibly slow service, but it gave us plenty of time to chat about our travels, past and future. It was really nice, I love meeting other travelers. We went out to a different restaurant for dessert, which was surprisingly hard to find. It was only 10pm, but all the restaurants were closed, or didn’t offer dessert. We found one where we could enjoy dessert, and some live music, on the main square. It was a really nice night, and I got a good tip from them on what I should do tomorrow. So I’m going to rent a bicycle and check out some places outside of VDL that are definitely not in walking distance. Should be interesting, I can’t even remember the last time I rode a bike…