We left Villa de Leyva and took a one hour detour to take advantage of the region’s purest water. The unattended spring, which pours out of a non assuming pipe, sits a few kilometers out of the pueblo of Arcabuco. We filled our Van’s twelve gallon tank, our nalgene bottles, our empty gallon bottles, measuring cup, small cups, and anything other empty container we could find. Clean water = liquid gold.
We stopped in Tunja to get the materials for the upper bed’s gate, which we found at a very simple Ferreteria. They didn’t have wood, so the muchacho from the pet store next door got on the phone with his uncle, who, of course, showed up 10 minutes later with exactly what we needed. We borrowed the neighbor’s drill and $3.50 later, along with the collaborative effort a a few guys, we drove away assured that falling head first is now a thing of the past.
We pulled into the town of Suesca in mid afternoon and we felt refreshed with the simple, tourist free streets. Suesca’s only outsiders are those pulled in by the amazing rock climbing it offers, which in the middle of the week, during low season, meant pretty much just us.
Once again, we made a new friend, Alejandro from the one man climbing outfit, Muisca Audoor. We made a rock climbing date for early the next morning.
We spend the night in a locked parking lot next to the climbing trail, with access to a bathroom and next door to an italian restaurant where we enjoyed the best glass of wine we’ve had in Colombia.
The man who gave us permission to camp in his lot, insisted on giving us a bag of wood to have a fire. Once again, the kids spent a few hours “smoking” twigs that looked like hobbit pipes. We spent the night surrounded by 5 dogs who took the job of guarding our van very seriously. The pepperoni sticks we shared with them only amplified their loyalty.
Colombia’s street dogs are numerous, gentle and seem to enjoy a freedom without the reproach of homelessness. They’re treated generally well, not only tolerated but respected all around. The kids and I have fantasies of adopting a few of them, but it’s a well known fact that Darin would disown us. For now, we choose Darin.
Early this morning, Alejandro led us down the train track to the climbing area. Suesca’s rock walls could keep one happy for a lifetime.
The kids were amazing and admirable in their courage. After 2 scary descents, Marco opted for being our photographer.
He seems to have an eye for it. Despite the fact that he took over 900 pictures, some of them really captured the moment.
The climbs became more challenging as we went and on our last climb, I realized that the exhilaration of rock climbing is similar to that of surfing. Darin’s already mentally preparing to make more room in the garage for the gear we’re gonna need…or maybe I’m just kidding myself.