It took Ben (Laura's husband) until age 35 to kick a pigeon, and it took a trip to Bogotá, and Simón Bolívar's iconic Square to get the job done. The look on Ben's face can only be compared to Christmas morning.It was worth the wait!
In other aspects, the week-long trip down was also a great success. Laura and Ben got to tour Paloquemao, the insane huge market, where they could have bought anything from a whole pig to roses to a catfish to a half-mile spool of ribbon.
They have the best banana leaves there, as I'm sure you're aware, and Laura learned how to make Colombian tamales from her mother.
We rented a car, which seemed to be fine, but more on that later, and drove four hours north to the achingly picturesque and Colombian town of Villa de Leiva.
We stayed in an achingly picturesque Colombian inn.
We watched the achingly picturesque Colombian downpour, having arrived from checking out the shops moments before.
So, the next morning we headed back to Bogotá through the beautiful countryside, and the sun was shining, and we were laughing, and.... the car flat out died. We drifted back in to a safe parking place and awaited rescue.
The tow truck showed up with a great 20-year-old at the helm, who has been driving tow trucks since he was eight ("it was easier then, not so much checking licenses"), and I rode and talked and laughed with him back to Bogotá, while Paula successfully directed his mom (in Spanish!) driving the other car to back to our place. It was the timing belt, by the way.
The next day, Ben suffered briefly from some of the achingly picturesque Colombian food we'd had, and so we left him in peace in Bogotá and took the bus to Zipaquirá (that's right, accent on the last syllable)
to the #1 Colombian World Attraction, the Salt Cathedral. In the mined-out galleries of the long-lived halite (rock salt) mine, the miners and then artists have created chapels and stations of the cross, and a gift shop, of course. By the way, to get scale, that cross is 70 feet tall.
Laura proved that the place is, indeed, carved out of salt.As in any salt mine, we watched a 3-D movie.
We also found the stairs of Cirith Ungol (see "Lord of the Rings" Book 2),
as well as Shelob's nephew (same book).
On Friday, we toured the historic Centro part of Bogotá, checking out the museums.
Towards sunset, we went up on Montserrate, the old cathedral built on the top of a mountain at the edge of the city.
We had a great dinner and watched a beautiful (achingly so) sunset over the city,
and then watched the city lights come on.
On Sunday, we took Laura and Ben on the colectivo bus up to church in San Luis. I'd put in pictures, but the normal people on the bus wouldn't have like it, and it's hard to do in a swerving colectivo dodging the cyclists while you're hanging on to the bar with both hands standing because the bus is once again crammed full.
We enjoyed Ben and Laura's visit immensely and already miss them.
We hope all your experiences are achingly whatever.
Dave & Paula