Cathedral de Sel and Villa de Leyva

Now the work starts. We have to sort out and pack the bikes again to hit the road. Luckily we had the covered parade at Salvador’s apartment to deal with all our stuff.


The TMK were there to send us off in style and Ellen managed to get a few pics of the departure. Heading out of Bogota at 10 am was a good move; because the normally bumper-to-bumper crawl of traffic was very heavy traffic, but flowing well.

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The trip took us just north to the town of Zipaquira (zee-pa-key-Rah) and a visit to the Cathedral de Sel.

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The salt mine has 3 levels and the miners 200 years ago mined at the site of the present Cathedral. The previous was closer to the surface and seeping groundwater caused instability of the cavern there.

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The size of the main Chapel is amazing. They actually hold mass here on Sundays, and it is apparently packed on high holidays. There are also smaller chapels for regular Sundays.

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The massive “stone cross” is actually an optical illusion and is a cut out in the rock.

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The other optical illusions are reflections of the crosses using darkness and light.

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There is the very shallow water pond that reflects the ceiling, but looks like a deep cavern.

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The salt carving of the tree has taken 7 months so far.

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The school kids were far more interested in us and getting in a photo with us then the tour they were on.

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There was also a very cool “ecolight show” set to music in one of the huge tunnels.

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And the best part of Daniel’s day we found really good ice creams.

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The ride father north is very fun and curvy. It is a great time to use the coms to help the second bike pass trucks on blind corners.

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We had been skirting a huge black cloud pouring rain and lightening all day until the last 5 km to Villa de Leyva. This is a small town with adobe and white -wash houses with red tile roofs set in a spectacular valley.

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