Catedral de Sal - Zipaquira, Colombia

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South America » Colombia » Bogota
February 26th 2016
Published: March 30th 2016
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Another great day here in Colombia. I'm still trying to get used to the whole not working thing, but this is starting to fade a little. I've read a lot about the Salt Cathedral outside of Bogota on various travel sites. There is a large working salt mine in the mountains outside of the city. Apparently when the huge yields of salt left giant voids in the earth underground the miners decided to build a cathedral and create ornate sculptures in the soft rock walls leftover. A very religious group indeed.

I again hopped onto the Transmilenio bus to Portal Norte at the end of the line in the North of the city. Then it was an easy jump onto a mini bus for the ride into Zipaquira ($2). We did have a guide for the tour of the mine. I could not understand a thing she was saying though, so I lack any real information of why/how this incredible feat was accomplished. The detail in the sculptures is nothing short of breathtaking. The shear size and grandeur of all of the separate halls is overwhelming. I was thoroughly impressed.

About 10 minutes into the tour I started to realize that the language barrier is going to be a bit of an issue for me. I am trying to pick up a few phrases here and there, but this will be a challenge throughout South America. Nothing is written in English anywhere and English speakers, at least where I am at, are far and few between.

After the tour guide was done they let you pretty much walk anywhere in the mine to explore for yourself which was nice. After an hour and a half or so I had my fill and it was time to move on. My friend Erique had researched a famous restaurant in Chia which is a little town on the way back to Bogota. A few mini buses and a short walk later we had made it to Andres Carne de Res. The place was extremely festive and the wait staff was great with my poor Spanish. I had a huge steak that was cooked to perfection. At $45 for two beers and the meal, it was not of good value. But you're only in Bogota once so what the hell. There goes my budget!

After dinner it was a short walk back to the bus terminal in Chia. A short walk that is until a torrential downpour from one of the most intense thunderstorms I've seen. I need to remember that I'm in the mountains in the world's most rainforest covered regions. Perhaps a raincoat is in order. It was OK though. A quick duck into a local bar for a couple of Aguila's that cost $0.60 each and I was a happy camper. Once the storm broke it was the bus for me back to Bogota.

Last night in the Zona Rosa I went to a great Salsa Club. Man these Colombians can really dance! The place was chalk full of women and people having a great time. No one speaks English though, so I could not talk to anyone. I had a good time viewing the scenery and watching the different dances. Tonight I'll wander around Parque 93 and see what is going down. Tomorrow is Museo de Oro. I was going to stay in Bogota until Monday but I think now I'll leave tomorrow night on the night bus to Armenia. I should arrive early in the morning then I'll transfer to another bus to Salento which is my destination. I need some countryside after the chaos in the city of 8 million people.

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