Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Mirador el Santo - Villa de Leyva, Colombia - Jan. 24, 2017

Mirador Sagrado Corazon (a.k.a.)  Mirador el Santo

I had read about a viewpoint overlooking the town of Villa de Leyva in The Lonely Planet, so this morning I set out to find it. According to the guide, the trail to the mirador started just behind the Hostal Renacer. I located the hostal in "MAPS.ME" and set out to find the Mirador. However, I walked  up a road for an hour and came to the spot in "MAPS.ME" where the hostal was supposed to be, but it was nowhere to be found. Moreover, this just didn't seem like a spot to lead up to a viewpoint. So, I returned to our hotel, and searched some more on-line, and found what seemed to be better information in a blog. So I decided to head up there late this afternoon, hoping for a nice sunset. So I set out from our hotel just after 5 p.m., with the sun to set about 6 p.m., and told Susann I'd be back in two hours.

From Plaza Mayor I turned east on Calle 12 and walked up it for about 10 minutes until I reached a sport's field, and went through the gate.

I passed through the gate to the right of the truck. You can see the trail up above the stadium, and can just make out the statue.
I met six different people who were coming down, including these two runners

and this woman in bare feet! (She was carrying her sandals.)


I took the next shot at 5:46, not too far from the mirador.

I took this picture of the statue of Jesus at 5:50 p.m., about 35 minutes after I left Plaza Mayor.

I then climbed above the stature and quickly donned my jacket to protect myself against the cool breeze. I set up my tripod and looked for the best vantage point from which to photograph.

I took this photo at 6:00 p.m

  I tried a few different spots before settling on the one from which I took this next photo.

I made this last image at 6:16 and was tempted to stay a bit longer, but I had a ways to go down before it was too dark.

Two other men were up there, and they started down just as I was packing up my gear. I donned my headlamp and set out, racing against the impending dark. The two men were ahead of me, but I could hear them talking. I was surprised at how quickly they were moving without any light. As it grew darker, though, I started to gain on them, but I would just about catch them and they'd speed up. I didn't understand how they could move so fast in such poor light. But, as dusk turned into night, I caught up to them, and then they were grateful for my light! (I was thankful that they were there, too, because then I was sure that I was on the right trail.) 

I returned to our hotel at 7 p.m., almost exactly two hours after I left. 

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