*Disclaimer: Though this post was written during the COVID-19 crisis, the traveling itself took place back in 2019. I’m merely using my time while isolating to finally blog about this amazing trip.
I decided to just combine three days into one post, mostly because a majority of those days were spent driving. And while it is interesting to look out the window in a foreign country, it doesn’t make for much of a great story.
We drove for nearly twelve hours on day six. We were heading up to the coast next, and therefore would need to get all the way back up towards Bogata and then some.
Now that’s a long drive already at 574 km (356 miles). But on top of that as we had discovered Colombian roads could be pretty wild. Places where traffic was bad, one lane roads through the mountains, and various other things to slow us down. At one point we noticed cars turning off onto a dirt road rather than taking the main road, clearly running into some kind of problem. We drove along this crowded dirt road until we basically ran into a river that we ended up driving through. My mom got some awesome pictures to capture the craziness.
Around Bogota we had areas that were just ridiculously busy. Pedestrians just walking into the road without a second glance. Motorcycles and cars and all kinds of traffic.
Thankfully, after such a long time in the car we at last arrived in Zipaquirá where we would be staying the night. Our hotel was Estacion de la Sabana. It was kind of mediocre, but at least we didn’t spend much time there.
We set out to find some food. Unfortunately it was getting late into the evening, and several restaurants were already closing up. One that we went into to check if they would feed us recommended a burger place down the street. So we ended up at La Carretta Parilla Burger Bar. The burgers actually ended up being pretty tasty, which we were very glad of after such a long day in the car only stopping briefly to grab some snacks.
After eating we went and wandered around a nearby square with a beautiful church. We took some pictures and then headed back to our hotel to get some good rest.
The next morning we awoke and had breakfast at our hotel. Then we did a quick walk around the square we’d seen the night before and enjoyed the beauty of that.
After packing up we stopped at a grocery store to get lunch materials and then headed to The Salt Cathedral, an amazing salt mine that has been turned into a stations of the cross and actual cathedral, all carved out of the salt.
I think we were all pretty tired and maybe didn’t get to enjoy the place to the fullest. I in particular was struggling because on the antibiotics I was taking, I wasn’t allowed to take some of my normal medication, which definitely didn’t make me feel very good. Still it was a pretty impressive place.
After that we hit the road again, trying to make it up further north to get to the coast.
We stopped in Floridablanca for the night. We stayed at another Sonesta, which we were very excited about after enjoying our stay at one in Ibagué.
We ate at the hotel restaurant, which wasn’t all that exciting, but was at least filling and easy. We also really enjoyed the views over the city. Then it was off to bed again and ready for one more day on the road.
The next morning we woke up and grabbed a quick breakfast at our hotel. We enjoyed the views on the patio eve more in the light.
Our last day driving was also pretty unexciting. We did stop at one point to do a photo shoot next to an anteater crossing sign. I had really been hoping to see one, but sadly we never did spot one while driving.
We stopped for dinner at a McDonalds. Which I know sounds slightly ridiculous. But honestly, we just didn’t have much time for a long dinner in order to get to our hotel at a good time. And besides, there is something fun about trying different countries versions of fast food.
After our quick meal we headed off to drive the last stretch before reaching our destination. We had made it all the way to the coast after three days of travel!
We stayed in a cute hotel called Eco Hotel Chayrama. They had cute dogs and even a scarlet macaw that we initially took for a pet, but later found out from the owner just liked to hang around the place and was actually wild. Rather than an actual hotel building, the place had cute little cabins tucked into the jungle.
We had a quick swim in the pool before heading to bed. The place didn’t have any AC and it was pretty ridiculously humid, but somehow we ended up falling asleep with the fan on.
I am back at work now, so posts might not be as frequent, but I do still intend to finish up writing about this awesome adventure, so stay tuned for more!