It’s a wrap.

We’ve been home (Washington State) for almost 2 weeks, so I’m past due closing this out (Rita! 🙂 ) .

The trip is definitely in the “I’d do it again” category, and we will some day, taking in more of this beautiful country. No real negatives to report, and it exceeded our expectations.

One tardy photo: In the smaller towns & villages, older car are stretched to their limit, and motorcycles and scooters are most popular. And why stop at just one or two passengers? A ‘few’ is common, and an occasional “entire family” of five.

As seen in Mongue – my favorite stay.

The most memorable event for me (Laura) would be the chance meeting of the family of Louis Carlos Galan in Villa de Leyva on Dec. 30.

Mr. Galan would have been the president of Colombia after the 1990 election (he had a significant lead – 60%) , had he not met a spray of bullets from associates of Pablo Escobar – famed drug lord and politician.

In the 70’s, Louis’s parents & grandmother (from Bogota) build a family vacation home in Villa de Leyva before it became the ‘it’ spot – he would have been a teenager. Eleven siblings survive Louis, and their families have grown such that they are each building their own vacation home in Villa De Leyva. This left a vacancy (for us!) in the beautiful classic original home, which sits on about 2 acres – almost on the town square! A bit of the back story: We were scheduled to leave town the day of Dec. 31 – not having a room for that evening. Little did we know, New Year’s Eve is a huge event there, with two fireworks companies lighting up the town square at midnight. Eating pizza in a local joint on the night of Dec. 30, we met a nephew and brother-in-law of Louis when they sat next to us and started visiting – both in fluent English. (Come to find out, we were the only people in the tiny restaurant – their favorite – that weren’t part of their family!) They were aghast that we would miss the festivities by one day, and quickly went about securing one of the 2 vacant bedrooms for us for the evening of the 31st. At this beautiful 5 bedroom home we met more relatives and some friends of the family, and were a 1/2 block from the fireworks that evening. No one lives there full time except the house manager, and it will soon be on the market. It’s the only home on this prime real estate block that does not have a commercial operation of some sort in it. A bit of History and Hospitality, both of which abound in Colombia.

Our room, with photos of the parents and grandmother on the wall. It was the grandmothers room.
We were in one of two bedrooms on one side of this courtyard – 3 on the other. To Dave’s delight, he had a hot water shave. The ONLY home we stayed in with working hot water taps.