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A view of Villa de Leyva, Columbia
Villa de Leyva, Columbia

January 22, 2020

Villa de Leyva and Villa de Racquira, Colombia

A note in my last email i said 2 days short of a month.  I do lose track of time, so forgive me.
 I was kidnapped this morning.  A couple from Medellin asked me to join them for breakfast and it turned into an entire day with a trip out of town.

Negra and Elena, a Columbian Couple
Negra and Elena, a Columbian Couple

Negra and Elena are traveling around for a week or so learning more about their adopted country.  They were born in Ecuador and moved to Colombia 30 years ago when they married.  Now they are retired, she from her medical practice and he also from the same.
Very nice couple to put up with my Spanish all day.  They speak no English so it was Spanish all day.  That was one of the reasons I accepted their offer of a walk after breakfast.  To have the opportunity to invest time speaking the language one on one, was too good to pass up.  
Shortly after we left the hotel Negra suggested that we visit Racquira.  We walked over the bus station and negotiated the best price, had a cup of tinto.  No, not red wine, but a cup of black coffee.  Theirs with sugar and mine sin.  It is as difficult to get coffee without sugar here as it is to get tea without it in the south.  In fact, this morning at breakfast I asked for tinto sin azucar and got it with sugar.  They prepare it that way as normal.  In order for me to get it without they have to make it special, which they did.

A view of Villa de Racquira, Columbia
A view of Villa de Racquira, Columbia

Soon we boarded the bus for the half hour ride.  Racquira is an amazing little village.  It looks something out of a Mexican movie.  I think it is a border town transported to Colombia.  Really fun place with lots of tourist stuff for sale and yet a unique town with pretty little rivers, a small church and a plaza with many statues of saints and working people.  
Everywhere we went Negra negotiated the prices.  It did not matter that he had no intention of buying anything, he argued the price.  He spoke with a tout about the price of lunch for about 10 mins., even though he planned to return to Leyva for lunch.  Later in the afternoon he asked if we wanted ice cream.  Sure, that sounded good in the hot afternoon.  He went into the supermarket and began to ask the price of the packaged ice cream!  Interesting hobby.
They would not let me leave as we walked around Leyva, them taking lots of pictures, I pity their kids, and me enjoying their company.  I said kidnapped when it was really more like adopted.  As I helped her up and down the high curbs and steps, she began calling herself my abuela.  Interesting as am older than both of them by about 10 years.  Difficult for her to be my grandmother.  
So, I hope they have lots of money to leave me.  Wait, I think they may survive me by a long time.  Oh, well I guess I should pay my credit card after all.

—Bill H.

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