Off to Zipaquira Salt CathedralFebruary 22 in Colombia
This was the second last day of the trip for me. My flight to Quito and then onward to Europe was the next day. To make the best of the time, we had planned to visit the Zipaquira Salt Cathedral some 60 kms from Bogota.
I woke up around 7:30 in the morning. Hristo and Maria too were up but both were feeling a bit weak and not fully fit. It had been a bad round of food poisoning for Hristo and he had woken up a couple of times in the night. Maria too was having a very severe throat pain and cough. They told me to carry on to Zipaquira as I didn't have any more day left while they would go there some day after I had left as they had their return tickets a few days later. I checked with Karin. She decided to join me. Her earlier plan had been to go to the Monseratte hill just next to our hostel. The views of Bogota from up there are amazing, but since it was a cloudy day, she decided to do it some other day when it was clearer.
We had done some research and had figured that the buses to Zipaquira leave from the bus terminal at the North end of Bogota called Portal Norte. To reach Portal Norte, we could either take the taxi or use the local transport. We checked with the guy at the reception and realized that the taxi to Portal Norte was quite expensive and that the local bus route was very straightforward. We needed to catch the TransMelinio bus service from near the hostel and from there it was one straight road for almost 20 kms to the North.
We finished our breakfast and headed to find the TransMelinio station. Just outside the hostel, we saw some 5-6 men dressed up in full army fatigues running outside the park nearby. It looked like some operation going on; most probably against drug dealers in the park. We walked around the area, but couldn't find the TransMelinio station. It took us 30 min to finally find the station. Here, at the entrance, we bought the tickets and also found out which number bus to take. The bus took 40 min to reach Portal Norte. The mini bus to Zipaquira was leaving in 5 min, this, which we managed to catch. The tickets are available on the bus only. In fact, there are no tickets. Everyone knows the fare and its the same all the way irrespective of where one gets on or off. After the bus leaves the terminal, the helper for the bus driver goes around collecting cash from everyone.Read more