Bogota, Colombia, South America
Today has been my best day in Colombia so far! I had a good morning in Chapinero getting some things done. I had to go to the bank, the supermarket, and got my hair cut. It’s been a while since I got it cut, so I was happy to find a place where I was confident they wouldn’t butcher me. Plus, it only cost 15 pesos (£5), so I was happy about that.
Melissa’s mom, Luz Mery, picked me up from my hotel at 1pm and we headed north to a town called Zipaquira. There was the most amazing thing I’ve seen so far in South America in this town. There is a massive salt mine in Zipaquira, and they’ve built an amazing cathedral inside the mine. This was the first mine I’ve ever been in, which was amazing enough to see, but the cathedral is incredible. The cathedral has 14 naves on the way down into the mine to show the path of Jesus carrying the cross. It was pretty cool to see this here just a few months after seeing the actual path in Jerusalem.
They carved the crossed out of or into the walls of mine and put lights in to symbolize certain things in each nave. When we arrived at the base of the mine we were in a small chapel, and then got into the main nave with a massive cross. In front of the cross is a sculpture of the creation of Adam. We were lucky enough to arrive just in time to get an english tour guide, and I’m really glad we did. There was so much information and I definitely would have missed out on a lot if I had to listen to a spanish guide instead.
We finished off the tour by seeing a pool filled with really salty water, and the reflection was so amazingly clear, that the reflection of the ceiling actually looks like you’re looking down into a tunnel. The guide said it was due to all the minerals in the water that creates such a clear reflection. We watched a 3D movie that showed how they do the mining in Zipaquira which was pretty interesting. There was no need for it to be in 3D, which always annoys me, but it was still a very informative movie.
We left Zipaquira and went to a town called Chia and had dinner at a restaurant called Andres Carne de Res. It was an absolutely incredible place. It wasn’t like any other restaurant I’ve ever been to in my life. It was absolutely massive, and it was covered in “stuff”. There were statues, signs, lights, things hanging from the ceiling. It was a madhouse! It was packed full of people when we arrived at 6:30pm and even busier when we left at 9:30pm.
The food was excellent and we ate SO much! We had empanadas and arepas to start, then Luz Mery ordered a salad to go with her steak, so I had a small ajiaco, called an ajiaquito, and then I had a filet mignon for dinner. It was the best meal I think I’ve had in about six months. Everything was amazing! I was even more surprised when Luz Mery picked up the bill and wouldn’t allow me to pay. She’s so nice, but I’m not too surprised because that’s why Melissa is so nice.
The staff at the restaurant came over after the bill was paid and gave me a sash and a crown. The sash says Honored Guest of the House, and it’s given to people who have a birthday, or are from out of town. A band of six people came over to the table and played a typical Colombian song with all kinds of instruments and danced on the benches and everything. It was crazy.
Instead of having Luz Mery drive all the way back into Chapinero and then back out again, I hopped into a taxi and headed back to the hotel. It was an awesome day, and I had so much fun. I really appreciate everything Luz Mery has done for me while I’m here. Her and Melissa have both been awesome. I’m so lucky to know them here!