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Out of the bubble......... One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.-- Henry Miller

From Pasto to Ipiales - actually to Las Lajas (Saturday the 4th)

COLOMBIA | Sunday, 12 May 2013 | Views [1279]

It's my birthday in exactly two weeks - hope to be at the Ecuadorian Coast, eating fish and ice cream. Sorry it doesn't sound right in combination, but everything at the right time. Which does not include (at least for me) Guinea -pig. This is the new food we are exposed to. Seeing those little bodies on the grill isn't my idea of a good meal - keeping an open mind is a challenge at this juncture.  
We are  in Las Lajas near Ipiales - actually the Sanctuary of Las Lajas where somebody saw the image of the virgin Mary in the mid - 18th century in the cliffs above the river.
 Don't know the name of that river and can't really figure it out either...sorry. The church looks like a toy from afar. Or better yet: Disneyland!
The wonderful thing is and that makes it worth riding the seven km (round trip 15km) out of the way to find this place - we are going to have to climb out of here in the morning....pretty steep - that we are staying in a monastery run by nuns. We are the only guests in this huge building with an enormos amount of rooms. 
Our little cell has a window looking right out to the waterfall and the church. It is a relief to listen to the chuch bells and water falling instead of trucks. We got here early in the day. Didn't make the climb last night all the way up 2900m to Ipiales and stayed in a dumpy little hotel next to the road. As beautiful as the surroundings are it is hard on the body! We have to be extra special kind to ourselves and each other through this labor (of love) with all those ups and downs that go on for hours and hours and hours......and hours....
This place here -the church and all it's worshippers- is a strange sight and I wonder how in the world can somebody see something- a saint- in a rock and money gets poured into building a stucture that exceeds all expectations? I don't know, but I imagine Rome or other catholic parts of the world came to help finance  this madness.....and the question drills itself into my mind: Why is this much work and money extended to a believe, a phantasy and not to help the sick and starving people in Colombia or even other parts of the world? Well, there are too many examples like that ....it's just crazy making to get into it. So I am going to stop right here.
The plan is to leave Colombia and cross over to Ecuador tomorrow and then head to the coast as soon as a road in that direction becomes available. We are not going to Quito - wish we could do it all.....( Those mountains are begging with their beauty, but I am so damn ready for some flat roads along the water at this point)

 

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