Lynn & David travelling in South America travel blog

Santuario, Virgen de Las Lajas, Ipiales, Colombia

Santuario, Virgen de Las Lajas, Ipiales, Colombia

Santuario (from viewpoint), Virgen de Las Lajas, Ipiales, Colombia

Car for Jacob, Ipiales, Colombia


Saturday 10th May 2014

Ipiales, Colombia to Otavalo, Ecuador

No breakfast in the hotel today so we out around the corner and bought a few slices of thick toast, very crunchy. We also had a cup of coffee in the hotel before we went by taxi to get to the truck. David went with the driver direct to where the truck was parked and Lynn went to the bus station in another taxi. The driver brought the truck around to the bus station and we went to a very famous church near the town of Ipiales. The church is set in a deep ravine and apparently has been the site of the demonstration of a number of miracles. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of plaques set in the rock walls nearby thanking the Virgin for prayers delivered and giving thanks for the miracles that have happened. Many pilgrims come there especially to visit this church and there are food stalls and other shops selling religious paraphenalia. It is a beautiful place and we enjoyed our time there. After the visit, we then walked back up to the truck and then drove to the lookout high above the church and took some final photos. We then drove about 3-4km to the Colombia/Ecuador border and completed our immigration procedures after which we were in Ecuador. [We were quite sad to leave Colombia as it is a beautiful country.] We drove through spectacular mountain country, along the side of high mountains into the valleys and then up again. Initially it was a bit wet and then we reached a set of roadside stalls selling fruit, near a checkpoint where we stopped. We bought pineapple cut fresh. We then continued on through another large town and climbed into the mountains where it started to rain and by the time we reached our destination, Otavalo, it was quite wet. We unpacked our luggage and checked into our hostel and then went out shopping in the markets. Otavalo has one of the largest, if not the largest, markets in South America on Saturdays. Because it was raining, some of the stalls had packed up but we enjoyed looking at all the crafts and bought a few things we liked. We then strolled back to the hostel and had a break and an aperitif before going out to dinner. Almost all of the people now on the trip are finishing tomorrow so we are going out to dinner tonight, to farewell them.



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