All the scenic road routes came with additional costs. In one of them we lost the brakes. Like in the movies, just it wasn’t a movie. I went completely white, (Luís, maybe I’ve just found out the solution for your condition; no need to say thanks), when the brake pedal went straight to the floor, Marzena put on a nervous smile, wondering how we would jump out like Adam Malysz, the famous polish ski jumper. In the last moment, on our right, an uphill lane appeared and we managed to slow down! The break master cylinder had to be replaced. Getting back to civilization, eleven kilometres away, took us an hour. With a recalibrated handbrake and low gears activated, we got to the workshop of a wonderful family in Bucaramanga. We spent two days there, we were even allowed to stay the night in the garage. And even more, they spoiled us with coffee, fruits from their own farm and even offered lunch! Colombian hospitality and generosity, as well as professionalism! Due to age and origin, spare parts for UMM, sometimes, require creativity. Thank you very much. We will never forget Frenar!
Another planned stop was Barichara, a tiny, detached little town located just above the canyon of the river Somagoso / Suarez. The road was nice, non-touristy, and the picturesque villages where an invitation to stop and have a cup of coffee and watch the unhurried everyday life. Even the dogs demanded some attention from visitors. A red-headed vulture also cooperated on this sunny, lazy day.
For our surprise, when in Villa de Leyva, we found signs left behind by our friends of Taxi Latino. Located far from the main routes, the city has undergone a small development. As a result, it is one of the few places in Colombia that has preserved much of its original colonial style and architecture: the streets and the large central square are still paved with cobblestones, and many buildings date back to the 16th century. The square is really impressive and is one of the largest in Colombia.
Bogota was not included in our plan, but it turned out to be indispensable. UMM needed a doctor’s appointment, this time with rear springs and shock absorbers. The price for off-road is high. With the car safely parked, we could visit Bogota without fear.
A visit to the Gold Museum was a must. It is the largest and richest collection of gold art in the world and not only from pre-Columbian cultures. After we spent a few hours hiking La Candelaria, the historical centre of the city.