Last night we walked to the Plaza Mayor and sat, as the locals do, and people-watched. We caught snippets of conversation, talked to those who stopped and enjoyed ourselves for over an hour. It was 7p when we went to Las Portales for dinner. We chose a seat on the plaza and ordered our lomo in salsa vino. Less than 5 minutes went by and it started to rain....seriously heavy. It bounced up off the cobblestones and we moved back...and our table was moved back. Then it was suggested that we should move to the corner. The dog who had taken refuge under our table was happy. Our food came...and was delicious. And it still rained. Streams of water ran through the slanted plaza exiting down the side streets. In places it was 6 inches deep! We talked to a couple who had lived in Philadelphia but now are retired in Villa de Leyva. We watched a fellow who was given spaghetti feed it to a dog. And the rain came down still...sheets of it. There was a short lull and most people left. We finished our water....and waited out the next downpour. Gord took his socks and sandals off and we rolled up our pants. At the next lull we started for the Boutique Casa Espania. We waded across a street, walked down a block and it started to sprinkle. As it increased we waded across the street and ran up the steps into our casa. Unfortunately the courtyard and stone staircase is open to the elements so we got a little damp going up to our room. All part of the fun!
Today Rodrigo was early...and we were ready. We left early to drive east to Barichara. The day was cloudy but the views were still spectacular as we drove up, over and down mountains, along high mountain ridges through both forested and dry country. We drove to the ruta principal on a at times rough country highway with little traffic. On the ruta principal # 62, we encountered a lot of truck traffic. We drove through little villages and large cities such as Sorrocco....all with red tiled roofs. We crossed the Suarez River several times. In one valley sugarcane grew in abundance. We got to see it being harvested by hand with burros piled high with the cane for transportation. We saw it being processed in the next village. Bright purple orchids peeked out from where branches join trees. African tulip trees with their firey red blooms seemed abundant. Bamboo lined the road in places. In other parts cacti were everywhere. After 1p we arrived at Canela...a homestay...in Barichara.
We settled and walked down to Calle 5 and up hill to the Plaza Mayor to go to lunch at Noa's. After we peaked in the large cathedral, went to a small museum, explored several little shops and found our way back home. Tomorrow is a busy day.