Desierto de la Tatacoa


I decided to stay another night in Salento but the guys headed off to Bogota. I didn't actually see very much and spent most of the morning in a cafe where I managed to find tea! Yes! In a huge mug! And then it rained all afternoon. We met 2 other people that wanted to head to the desert too so we arranged to meet the next morning. Salento has been one of my favourite places, it's a tiny colonial town surrounded by green hills. The people are so incredibly friendly (and speak perfect English). It's a bit like being in the wild west, the people here wear cowboy hats, jeans, burlap ponchos, leather belts with an array of tools. The food is cheap and amazingly good. 

3 bus journeys and 12 hours later we arrived in the desert. I was not impressed. The 'hotel' was in darkness, the rooms were dingy and the guy tried to squeeze 4 of us into a room with 3 beds. I shouldn't be surprised. We managed to haggle for 2 rooms, I had a shower in the dark with cold water, of course. Then dinner at the hotel. It was surprisingly alright! We played a few rounds of cards before they turned the lights off and we had to go to bed. 

Next morning we woke at 5.30am to watch sunrise. It's really beautiful here and we walked up a small slope to take in the sights. After breakfast we did a tour with the hotel which included both the red desert and the grey desert. 


3 Austrian girls that were staying at the hotel got on the back of motorbikes but the 5 of us were squeezed into what I would describe as a cage with seats attached to the back of a scooter. We rattled over the sandy stone 'road' until we got to the grey desert. Our guide took us over the rock formations and down onto a small valley, explaining to us about the history and the plant life. One of the Austrian girls spoke Spanish so translated into German and then one of the German guys translated into English for me and the French lady. 

It was incredibly interesting. He showed us how you can eat the fruit of a cactus by pulling out the bright pink flowers which contain juice. It tasted nice. The tall cactus grow small spiny balls that you can knock off, cut in half and inside is a bright red fruit you can eat. 


After the grey desert we rattled on over to the red desert. This was more visually interesting. It's difficult to describe but there are hills of dried desert sand and we climbed up and walked across the maze of the peaks. I was actually rather scared! 


Back at the hotel we had a huge lunch then enjoyed the boiling heat and a splash in the pool. Then we headed out for sunset which was surreal. After dinner we went to the astrology centre. This was my favourite part! Super geek. I got to see the surface of the moon through a telescope. It was eerily beautiful. I can't even describe it but it blew my mind. The guide even took some photos on my phone through the lens. Doesn't do it justice though. 

A bad sleep with horrific wind that I thought was going to blow the roof off and a gecko that chirped loudly all night!


2 comments:

  1. I really had no idea about the cactus fruit or flowers! Stunning photos too!

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  2. I didn't either, it was pretty cool. Think this has to be my favourite place so far. Totally beautiful. Thanks for compliment about photos :)

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