Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Villa de Leyva

This was a real treat after Bogota. Villa de Leyva is a four or five hour bus ride from Bogota, heading northeast. The town boasts a population of 13,000 but seems smaller - even though you can see the many new condos and vacation homes being built on land surrounding the town. We divided our time in Villa de Leyva between Bonnie and William's finca about three miles outside of town, and Hostel Renacer which was about a mile from the main plaza.
This is William. Bonnie is in South Korea visiting her daughter and granddaughter but will return in February. William was a wonderful host, cooking fabulous breakfasts and dinners, pointing us in good directions to hike, and doting on Claire. We enjoyed his company very much.
This is the little cabin where we stayed. William and Bonnie designed and built their house and this guest house. They did an amazing job incorporating the natural landscape into their building. For example, we showered outside. Which was great when the water was warm and chilly chilly when the wind blew. On puentas, or holidays, they book guests to enjoy the countryside. Oh, we were so happy to get a chance to relax here.
At night, the sky was freckled with stars. This is first light in the morning, a view from my pillow. That tall skinny tree at the left is actually an old yucca plant.
The littlest bed buddy. Claire wakes up cheerful. Smiles and coos. (That's a piece of hat yarn on her forehead).
Here is a church we hiked to one afternoon, part of las ruinas Gachantiva, a pueblito of ruins that were fun to explore. Old buildings, forgotten places capture the imagination.
My man and my babe. Good company.
And here they are again, in a shop. Totally captivate by a springy bouncy bright toy. Claire is wearing what I call her Sugar Cereal Pants. They are covered with tiny green, blue, and pink creatures that look like they should be made out of marshmallow and turning your cereal milk blue.
Hostel Renacer. Gave us a good walk to and from each day.
One of the streets leading to the square. Justin was the one who manuevered the stroller through the cobbled streets. We met a local couple with two small kids, one only a couple months older than Claire. Their stroller was outfitted with super thick wheels that didn't get caught between stones. Jealous?
Claire attracts attention here. People love babies. Here's a little guy who spoke so sweetly to Claire and leaned in for a smooch.
Iglesia Parroquial on the Plaza Mayor.
I'd heard about this French bakery from friends. Oh. My. Wow. Yum. We indulged in an almond crossaint, pan de chocolate (think crossaint with bits of semisweet chocolate inside), a chocolate torte, and cappacino with towering foam. We bought a box of treats home with us and I've got some tasty coconut cookies in the freezer for a rainy day. Or a sunny day. Or a cloudy day.
A waterfall we hiked to on New Year's morning. A good start to the year.


Anonymous said...

at first glance, i thought that guy leaning in the doorway was home-on-the-farm justin! k.

Joanna Goodman said...

Tell Claire that Aunt Jo thinks she's a doll. Also, I think she looks a lot like you in some of these photos. Also, we must skype soon!