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Colombia - Villa de Leyva

25 °C

A beautiful whitewashed colonial town, full of mystique and unchanged since the 15th centry, with cobblestone streets and a giant central plaza, we don´t get this sort of thing in Australia! Arriving on the weekend, the town was full of Bogotan people getting away from the city for the long weekend, which gave the small town a fantastic buzz. The beauty of Villa De Leyva made it easy to fill in a day just wandering around exploring the streets and poking our heads into the numerous small doorways which lead into courtyards, filled with restaurants or boutique tourist shops.

One evening we had a nice dinner in Plaza Guaca, one of the many restaurant filled courtyards. We sat on a candle lit terrace overlooking a courtyard, with live music playing in the background, casting a fantastic intimate atmosphere coupled with great service, food and wine. If your saving up for a special dinner, this is the place to have one! After we´d overloaded on food we stumbled out to Plaza Mayor, the large cobblestone plaza in the centre of town. It sits on a slope and has steps lining highest side, where people make theselves at home with litre sized cups of beer or a bottle of Aguardiente (a local spirit translating to firewater) to chat, sing or play music and while the night away, while looking down across the plaza.

To explore the surrounding windswept countryside we decided to hire bikes. We rode down the small country roads, which was mostly downhill on our way out, with great views and after about 12km we arrived at the scenic winery, Ain-Karim, which sits at the base of sloping farm land. After a wine tour and a glass of reserve cab sav, we were sitting enjoying a cheese platter when I got a tap on my shoulder form a friendly Bogotan couple who gave us half a bottle of wine they couldn´t finish because they had to drive! This really gives you an idea of the friendliness and generosity of the Colombian people, so thank you Diego and Angelica! Just as we pried ourselves away from the lovely setting of the winery and picked up our bikes for the uphill slog, we discovered Paul's tyre was flat. So we were driven back into town in a 1974 Jeep, nice.

Farm-style El Solar was a great place to stay, you couldn't find a frendlier owner "mi casa es su casa!".

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Posted by TheNomadWay.com 16:00 Archived in Colombia

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