Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.
Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.
Friday, December 9, 2011
During our time in Bogota we took a few days out to visit some nearby places, Tunja and Villa de Leyva.
After much debate and conflicting advice about the best way to get to Tunja, we went to the central bus station and picked up a direct bus from there. It spent the first hour crawling through Bogota, but then picked up the pace and we were on our way.
Tunja is relatively small, and is billed as a real town rather than a tourist attraction. It apparently has some excellent examples of painted churches. I say apparently, because over the two days we were there we didn't manage to get into any of them! There wasn't much to see, but it was pleasant enough to look around. When we arrived, there was a stage up in the main square, so we hoped that we might have arrived in time to participate in some activity or other.
Fonseca in Tunja
It turned out that the event was a tour put on by the main Colombian supermarket chain, Exito. The first event was a game of bingo with seemingly good prizes for those with winning cards. But the main event was a concert by a singer called Fonseca. We couldn't get in as you had to have a ticket, but as it was open air, we could sit in a bar on the square and listen. From the audience reaction, it was clear this guy was a major draw, and I have seen afterwards that he has won all sorts of Latin America music prizes and is a big name over here. His music sounds contemporary, but is based on a couple of traditional styles. He sounded fairly good, and while I wouldn't be rushing to buy his music, we were quite happy to listen to it for the evening.
The bar we were in was tiny on the ground floor, thought there was a bigger space upstairs, and it was a nice place to spend a few hours. Our first choices of drinks weren't so good though. Nic went for a beer described as michelada, that turned out to mean it was a standard beer but with a lime and salt rim around the glass. Strange, but not as bad as my beer which arrived green and appeared to have something like blue curaçao in it! We chose more carefully the next round, but they misheard me, so instead of my Cuba libre (rum and coke), I got a something that I can't remember the name of instead, but it tasted fine - strong but fine.
Later, we headed off in search of another bar and found ourselves in a rather more trendy establishment, where we watched the locals salsa the night away. We also decided it was time to drink as the locals do and order a bottle of aguardientes and just sip away at it. Overall you don't need to spend longin Tunja, especially when the churches are closed anyway, but it was a nice place just to see how the locals live rather than just sightsee.