Day of riding buses...start at 7 am to a bus stop near Hostel but I failed to heed the hostel suggestion to only get on a bus w/ 'Terminal' on it! Instead, I asked driver if he went to the Terminal - Yes! After 45 min we were dropped off at a place to get another bus - we thought. I looked across the blvd and saw a street sign reading 'Terminal', but since driver said we needed another bus & we asked 2 girls at the stop, both said Yes, we needed another bus. Ten minutes later we got on one that said 'Terminal'...girls indicated this was it! After another 1/2 hour we arrivd at the CITY bus Terminal, not the intercity one. Live and learn...always ask for the Terminal that will connect w/ where we are going!! Now a friendly bus manager got us on our 3rd bus free and instructed the driver where we wanted to go. Fully 2 1/2 hours since we left the hostel, this driver let us off directly under the sign I'd seen an hour before w/ 2 girls! A 'short' walk and voila', the Terminal, but now 10:30. Finally got a bus to Tunja then another to Villa...we arr 3:30 +. Beautiful drive but as we are to discover, every trip out of Bogota you've got to incl. at least 45 minutes just getting out of town. Bogota is in the midst of major road reconstruction esp w.r.t. development of their Mellenia mass transit bus system (see pics for Bogota). As it turns out (hostel people didn't tell us this), we could have taken the Mellenia bus (the one we took the day before on our 'exploring Bogota' trip) toward N Portal and been w/in 10 minutes walk to the Terminal...we saw more of city this am than yesterday for sure! We had no clue where this major transport Terminal was w.r.t. other transport lines. Colectivos (small van type buses) are very difficult to figure out - people usually only know the one they use - so the hostel reception folks just suggest a taxi right off! We got to see most of Bogota tho! Ha!!
Once in Villa we went to cheapest ON acc which since LP has gone shee shee (expensive) - instead of the $9 US per person (pp) now it's $22.50! Went to 2nd choice around corner, Casa Martin, and got a room for $12.50 pp, still pricy but hey! Now, having had no food we sought out cheap sustenance...NOT HERE...ending up w/ a mediocre plate of pasta for $5.50 US. Since we intended on getting to Villa at noon, we now face the possibility of losing another day in an expensive town no less. Ckg the bus station we find that last bus direct to Bogota lvs at 7am. Asking taxi driver about visiting the 2 sites we're interested in this late (near 5pm), he says 'No problem', even tho the LP says they should be closed. Taking a chance and wanting to leave tomor w/o draining away more $$$ we opt to go (see pics). Muisca Observatory, which dates from early AD like a Stonehenge where indigenous people determined seasons...30 monoliths vertically sunken into ground 1 m. apart in 2 parallel lines. Also, ritual site w/ many large, phallic stone monoliths (see pics). When we reached the site, fellow in charge was locking the gate, we pleaded to let us in for just 5 minutes and he kindly relented. Great place, needed more time but.... Then to El Fossil & museum (pics)...discovered in 1977, set up a chain of events leading to this non-govt, community run museum which benefits children by giving $$ for school, and even helping w/ health issues from entry fees. A very friendly & helpful ticket guy (we were last ones there - tho a gal from Slovakia was doing same as we due to lack of time, ha!) filled us in on details. The giant fossil is in situ, just where local farmer found it! Unfortunately, he died in a car accident at 38 yrs old and did not get to see all the museum development. It was another 'typical' day of travel all in all!