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Bogota savanna
Written by sophie et jeremy   
Monday, 20 May 2019

We continue our route down from the mountains of El Cocuy national park, across some colonial cities, to the plateau where bogota sits. It is called the bogota savanna and has a rich history. The indigenous Muisca used to live here before the spanish conquest.

raft raft

They were a gold-rich confederation, which took its wealth from the salt they extracted from the ground. Later on, these salt mines were industrialy exploited and can nowadays be visited. The first one we visit is no longer in activity and is now used for tourism and as a movie set. In the maze of galleries, are a small chapel, the movie set, some salt concretions and the remains of the industrial exploitation. The highlight being the water bassins, filled with salt-saturated water, which give a perfect mirror effect.

nemocon 1 nemocon 1 nemocon 3 nemocon 3

nemocon 2 nemocon 2

Further south is another salt mine, much bigger and still in operation. It had been exploited on three different floors, and one of the previous floor is now dedicated for tourism, including a complete way of the cross, the biggest underground salt cathedral, food and souvenir shops...

zipaquira 1 zipaquira 1 zipaquira 2 zipaquira 2

zipaquira 3 zipaquira 3

For the indigenous Muisca, the laguna Guatavita, was of sacred importance. They used to hold a ritual there, where large quantities of gold were displayed and some thrown in the deep crater laguna from a raft.

guatavita guatavita

The spanish heard of that and of course try to find the gold by any mean (they even started to dig open the crater to drain the lake) but the part of the gold has only been found recently and is now visible in the gold museum in Bogota. This museum displays an amazing number of gold artifacts along with some other items on 3 different levels.

museo del oro 1 museo del oro 1 museo del oro 2 museo del oro 2

museo del oro 3 museo del oro 3

We then spend a few days in Bogota, right in the middle of the holy week, which one of the biggest holidays in colombia. The streets of the old center are crowed, as are the numerous churches.

Bogota 1 Bogota 1

Bogota 2 Bogota 2 Bogota 3 Bogota 3

Now it is time for Sophie to fly back to France and start to work again soon, whereas jeremy will keep going in south america for a little while, at least the time to secure the future of the car.

 

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