Tag Archives: Raquira

Person of the week

20 Oct Lady with lunch, Raquira

I’ve met some totally awesome people during my trip.

Some have been other travellers, some have been bus drivers, shopstore owners or just local people I’ve met in the street.  I’ve had some great teachers who have taught me un pocito de Spanish and perhaps even un pocito less de charango but all along the way I’ve had fab experiences and connections with people.

So I thought I would try to see if each week I can nominate someone (obviously in my own head) to be person of the week…of course as it’s an internal analysis with myself I have to give reasons for my decision (a bit like Big Brother I suppose).  I also will try to give some personal details about the person if I can (ie if I can understand their Spanish!!!).  The person need not be the most interesting, most challenging, most handsome (or pretty) or even the person with whom I’ve connected with most that week..it can just be someone whose paths I crossed and who made me laugh or made me think….so don’t be sad if you’re not person of the week..some people are best kept within my own little head!

Right enough of the justification…it’s time to pick a person for this week…and my person is…..


Lady with lunch, Raquira

Lady with lunch, Raquira


I met this little lady when I was waiting for a bus back from Villa de Leyva to Raquira.  It was one of those days when everyone kept telling me a different thing…yes there is a bus..it’s at 12…it’s from here..no the bus at 12 is from “Plaza de Libertad”.  There’s no bus at 12 today..but there is one at 1.30pm..there is no bus at 1.30 but there is one at 2….so eventually I decided to just sit, wait, watch the world go by in the knowledge that some bus would arrive sometime!!!! I’d seen this cute little lady earlier in the day and really wanted to take a photo of her interesting face and cute pleats..then she came to sit down next to me while I was waiting.  She lived in Raquira, was 78 and had collected lunch for someone in her family (that’s what she’s holding in the photo).  She kept saying “me voy”(I’m going) as the food was for someone in her family who waiting for it..but then she’d sit back down and chat more..she did this at least 4 times..it was cute…she spoke super fast so I couldn’t understand a lot of what she said but she was a really nice little lady with her terracota plate of food so she is my person of the week for this week…


Villa de Leyva, Raquira and El Monesterio de la Candelaria, near Villa De Leyva

19 Oct Raquira


After thinking that finally I had a Bolivian stomach and saying it aloud..fate dealt me a blow by landing me with a bout of food poisoning..I blame some cheese in a leaf that someone gave me in a hostel..cheese should not be served in a leaf or it makes you ill.

Still what better place to be ill than the beautiful Villa De Leyva in Colombia which has one of  the biggest main squares in South America, even though it is a tiny little town.  It also has beautiful houses, all with red clay roof tiles and painted white, a top cathedral and for such a small town, some good museums (the best one for me was the Luis Alberto Acuna Art Museum which houses many paintings by this Colombian artist).  The town has been super busy the last few days as it’s the annual tree festival and the main square has been full of stalls selling trees.

After seeing the sights of Villa de Leyva I decided to go Raquira which is the pottery capital of Colombia.  It’s a nice little town with lots of painted houses and is full to bursting with pottery shops.  I did a walk to La Candelaria which is about 7 km from Raquira.  The walk itself, although it was along a road, is stunning.  The valley is beautiful.  Traffic is minimal.  One van and a scooter passed me the whole route, both called out “buenos dias” as they passed.

The monastery has a wonderful setting nestled between beautiful hills.  The guidebook said a monk would do a tour. This did not happen which was a bit disappointing as I wanted to talk about the life of a monk with a monk.  The guidebook said the tour was free.  This was not true.  God needs money in these hard economic times.  It now costs 3,000 pesos.  Still it is worth it to see the paintings around the cloisters and the strange room containing obsolete computers and projectors…I shared my tour with 22 school kids from a local school who seemed about as interested in the monastery as I would be interested in taking a vow of silence…

Transport in these parts is not easy.  I was advised by locals that there was a bus back to Raquira at 10.30am but after waiting a bit on the road for it I decided to ask another local who said that the bus wouldn’t be passing that day.  Still he offered me a lift back to Raquira so it all worked out..ended up having to wait 2 hours in Raquira for a bus back to Villa de Leyva (was glad I had a good book)…and felt a bit like a gringa again when the bus driver told me the bus definitely called at Villa de Leyva..but I know the route to Tunja as I came on it a mere few days ago..and this bus was going to Tunja not Villa de Leyva.  Managed to communicate this to the bus driver who said no problem he would flag down a lift back to Villa de Leyva for me….needless to say this didn’t work out..ended up having a long journey back to Villa de Leyva from a roadside cafe but still saved 1500 pesos so, on balance, it must be my face and the driver was really trying to help me out after all!!!

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