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Our First Real Day of Travel: Villa de Leyva

Villa de Leyva by Night

It’s already dark by the time we reach Villa de Leyva, and the cobblestone streets are deserted, the lighting, eerie. Our journey to this sleepy colonial town has been way too long.

It started early in the morning, on what was essentially our first day in Colombia. The day of travel that is more often than not, the most confusing of any trip. Navigating a new language, geography and social customs all at once is always challenging, even if your Hubby Bear speaks perfect Italian (which should theoretically help more than it has so far…) ๐Ÿ˜‰

We’ve walked with our packs for at least 10 minutes, and despite getting directions to the bus terminal, from the kind lady at the hotel, we seem to be a little lost. Perhaps it’s because we received the directions in Spanish? It all seemed so clear at the time…

Our bags are getting heavier, and the sun is steadily marching higher into the sky, so we decide to hop in a taxi. We think we’ve been clear about our intended destination, but it’s not until 4 hours later, that we realize we’ve been had.

It turns out that there are 2 bus terminals in Bogota. The Terminal de Transporte, where our oh-so-clever taxi driver has dropped us off, and the Portal del Norte, which is where we actually want to go. Portal del Norte is a 5 minute drive from where we get in the taxi, and the main terminal – 20. We have no idea about this, of course…until we drive by the Portal Norte on our bus, 4 hours later. Grrr >.<

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We realize that we’ve wasted 3 hours sitting in the bus terminal, so that our taxi driver could make an extra $4. Super frustrating…but such is the life of travelers in a new city.

Libertadores Bus

All of this is forgotten as we careen through high mountain passes, and as I timidly peek through the windows at steep cliffs, unguarded by rails, I am happy that we are on a Libertadores bus.They seem somehow more solid and substantial than the mini-buses that seem to rocket past us with a death wish. The scenery is spectacular though, and it’s easy to lose yourself in the absolute beauty of Colombian nature.

Clouds over Colombia

In all, it takes us 9 hours to reach Villa de Leyva: 1 hour to get to the bus station, 3 hours of waiting at the bus station and 5 hours on the bus.

More on Villa de Leyva in the next post…

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