So, from Bogota we spent a couple of days in lovely colonial Villa de Leyva, about 4 hours north. On the way I got my first taste of Colombian bus drivers. In the cold light of day it’s one thing to sit here typing away and say that they drive like lunatics. It’s quite another when you’re sliding around on your bus seat, anything that you’ve been stupid enough to leave on the floor is at the other end of the bus, knocking against the ankles of the nice little old lady in the front seat. I began to dread the downhill bits (of which there were a lot, Villa de Leyva is 700 metres lower than Bogota) because on cresting the hill, you would feel the bus surge forward and the driver would begin cackling demonically as the roadside shacks would begin to blur, parts of the bus started breaking off under the extreme strain with the wheel rims glowing red.
Ok, Ok so I’m exaggerating a little bit. However, if I thought it was bad on the way to Villa de Leyva, it was nothing compared to the road between Bogota and Medellin. We had to dog-leg back to the capital to get to Medellin, which meant a good 15 hour bus day, but they weren’t that uncomfortable so I wasn’t too bothered about it. We left Bogota and after 30 minutes or so began down a curvy mountain road. The scenery was beautiful, the road taking us through thick forest and mountains as far as the eye could see. And it went on for hours like this – literally. Down, then up, the down again, all the time with hairpin bends every 50 metres. This of course did nothing to stop our bus driver from overtaking lorries, sometimes 2 or 3 at a time. I’ve never seen so many lorries in all my life, and of course we had to overtake them all. On blind bends. I’ve also never seen so many vultures in my life, there were trees full of em, just sitting there, waiting… it wasn’t very reassuring.