Out for a drive south of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 6, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Purcari Winery, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist! Arrive December 8th.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Would you go for a walk along a random dirt road in the countryside of Colombia?

As we were doing this yesterday, that was the question that came up. Our guess is that not many people would do the same things that we do, and yet these country road walks have been among our best experiences in Colombia.

There are no other tourists. In fact, I said yesterday that I figure we're probably the only Canadians to ever visit the little isolated town of Gacheta, Colombia.

One of our goals with this trip was to dispel the myth that Colombia is the same dangerous place that it was 20 years ago. And so we have traveled the country for the last five weeks without tour groups and using public transportation...and we have lived to tell about it!

Yes, you have to be careful of pickpockets and street crime in the cities. But outside of the cities...in the rural countryside...we find people to be friendly and we don't feel the least bit unsafe.

And, it's gorgeous scenery!

The other day when we did that long hike up to the ridge, we had seen a little town way over the other side. I did some research, and we figured that little town is called Gacheta and it's about 50 kms from Guasca, the town where we are staying. And we saw the occasional bus heading in that direction, so for our last day in the area we decided to find a bus and hop on.

The big city of Bogota is on the left. We have been staying in Guasca. Yesterday, we took the bus 50 kms (30 miles) through the mountains to the town of Gacheta.

It was only 50 kms (30 miles), but it took just over an hour one way. Cost was 10,000 pesos ($4.50 CAD) each for the ride there, but for some reason we were only charged 9,000 pesos ($4.05 CAD) for the return trip. No idea why the price difference.

Gacheta (pop 4,050) has a cute little church, doesn't it??

Inside the Gacheta church.

We sat and had a popsicle in the plaza. Along with the many sleeping dogs!

We wandered around the town a bit, and we did see one sign that pointed to a mirador (lookout) but it said that it was 5 to 6 kms away. We didn't feel up to a hike that long, so instead Ruth said she saw a dirt road near the entrance to town so we would just follow that for a while and see where it went.

Walking to the dirt road.

Hey! We spotted a rare Colombian wild cat by the side of the road!

The river that flows near town.

Ruth, on the dirt road.

It led us higher above the town on the opposite side of the river.

Somebody drying some coffee beans.

Nice view of the town of Gacheta.

Ruth, and some scenery from our walk.

Back at the river.

We only did about 4 kms (2.6 miles). These back country roads go for miles, with little rural homes dotting the countryside. We could have walked for hours. Love the scenery. Colombia is truly a beautiful country.

Back at town, there was a bus waiting for us. We got on, but it sat there waiting for more customers for about a half an hour before the bus left.

The rest of the pictures are from scenery along the ride back. It's worth the hour bus ride there and back just to see the countryside!






Back at Guasca, we had a basic dinner in the restaurant below our room. Not bad, but we made an error in translation and our chicken arrived breaded. So we had to pick that off, but otherwise it was a filling meal. The bowl of soup that you typically get with every meal is almost a meal in itself anyhow!

Today is a travel day. We're taking the bus back to Bogota...we've seen one marked "Terminal" so we think that will take us directly to the bus terminal which is located quite close to the airport. Then a taxi to the airport, then our evening flight (for $32 CAD each!) from Bogota to Medellin.

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A great deal at Amazon.com on a small electric pressure washer...today only...


And in Canada...any Seinfeld fans out there...?





22 comments:

  1. Beautiful scenery! Yeah... I'd walk on those roads... but only if Bill were with me. We did a lot of that in Costa Rica... but never by myself.

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    1. We sure are going to miss the scenery here! I think I would think twice about going on these roads as a lone female too, unless I was very familiar with the area.

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  2. Lovely back roads.
    Most large cities anywhere in the world are not as safe as the country side in our experience, we try to avoid the large cities just for that reason.

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    1. Yep, it is one of the best ways to experience local life. Agreed but large cities are always intersting and full of history,culture and architecture, just don't want too spend too much time in them.

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  3. Really pretty country side and town. Love that wild cat photo. Also some wild cows :)

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    1. Very pretty area! I thought for a minute that "wild cat" was going to pounce on us.

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  4. We would take a walk like that together as well, after having been there long enough to feel the comfort level to do so. But as others have said, I (female) would not do it alone. You never know when one of those rare Colombian wild cats or possibly-fierce sleeping dog might attack!

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    1. If it is the two of us we feel pretty confident in the country side, if it was just me, a lone female, I would want to know the area better before walking by myself.

      Yes, those fierce wild animals can be frightening, mind you that wild cat could easily have come home with me. ;-)

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  5. The church in Gacheta was so beautiful. It's inspiring that these tiny towns have invest their creativity and money for generations upon generations to build and maintain places to worship. This becomes part of their rich culture.

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    1. It really does look like they care for churches. This one looked like it had been renovated some time in the last 5 to 10 years. They are almost always in the center of town at the plaza.

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  6. I'm not a big city fan anymore. Even prefer Victoria to Vancouver.

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    1. Yes, we would agree with you. Victoria is a much prettier city in our mind too. Big cities have lots to offer and we don't mind visiting them, just don't want to live in one, and even visiting a big city we can only take so much of them.

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  7. Very pleasant looking. I feel the same as to safety.

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    1. Nice to hear from you Mike, hope you are keeping well.

      That whole area has beautiful countryside, actually most of Colombia does.

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  8. Replies
    1. Thanks Chris! I am glad we are seeing the country now because I think in another 10 or so years it is going to really be on the tourist radar.

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  9. We'll take country anytime - love this!!!!

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    1. Thanks Connie and Barry, as you know we feel the same way.

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  10. Walking like that would be our cup of tea, also. Not too short or long, just a pleasant walk about the countryside, viewing scenery and wild animals. :- )

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    1. Cities are fun but only for so long. Strolling along these country roads is always interesting and you get a better idea of their way of life.

      Really wish we were able to see more bird life though. We could hear some but they were so well hidden we just couldn't see any to get any pictures.

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