Zipaquira to Tunja









            Zipaquira (Zippy) to Tunja.  Zippy is only about 35 miles north of Bogotá but I was so glad to get out of Bogotá traffic alive once again that I was glad to stop.  The underground "Salt Cathedral" provided an easy excuse to stop and relax after a short, but scary day on the road.  The mines of Nimocon (a small town 10 miles north of Zippy) are nearby as well and I visited those mines on my second day in Zippy, then continued to Tunja.

            I remember thinking many times while in Colombia that the accident I had in Ecuador may have ultimately been a good thing.  It helped to create a healthy level of paranoia and an elevated awareness about being on a motorcycle in Colombia.  I've always said that when you're on a motorcycle you need to assume that everyone around you will do the dumbest thing possible and expect the unexpected from everywhere.  Riding a motorcycle in the USA with that assumption will save your life at least once, maybe even a handful of times, but in Colombia it may very well save your ass several times a day. 

Click on the image and be kind to our two-wheeled travel friends.


Instructions for the Salt Cathederal.

Just outside the mine.

Salt mine entrance.

The first half mile or so of the tunnels through the salt Cathedral are the 14 stations of the cross.

Most of these pictures were exposed for 20-30 seconds.

This part of the salt cathedral was opened in 1995.

The original, opened in 1954, became too unstable for tourism.

The big cross seen here can be viewed from a tunnel about half a mile away.

The funky lighting made it difficult to capture certain things.

The blue lighting helped accentuate things.

There's that cross again.

More stations of the cross.

Tons of these throughout the salt cathedral.

More funky lighting.

Another one.

Last one, which is actually the first one inside the tunnel.

Cool maze for kids.

Store security, back at Zipaquira.

Town center.

Cathedral, above ground.

Town government offices.

Inside the mines of Nimocon, about 10 miles west of Zipaquira.

The mines of Nimocon have some religious sections as well.

Lots of salt at the end of this walkway.

It's always Valentines day here.

Salt makes cool shapes and designs.

Light helps.

Town of Nimocon from the mines. I toured the mine with about 150 school girls on a field trip from Bogota.

Fernando (on the motorcycle) and Freddie, keeping the highways safe.

(Freddie) I had pulled over at a restaurant about 40 yards from these guys and they wanted to meet me and see the moto.

I spent about 15 minutes talking with these guys.

Me with my motorcycle vest - in Colombia it's a law that everyone riding a motorcycle wears a reflective vest with their license plate # on the back.

Tunja, more Colombian appreciation of Don Quixote de la Mancha.

More Colombianas shakin' that thang, this time for a band. Every band I saw in Colombia came with two obligatory thang shakers.

Tunja town center - these girls were trying to throw a ball through that hole in the back-drop here.