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Las Lajas Sanctuary and Ipiales Colombia

Las Lajas Sanctuary and Ipiales Colombia

The lake we intended to visit is called Laguna La Cocha.  While packing up the bikes this morning, we fell in love with the resident German Shepherd.

Kevin is asking what that noise is and I tell him the dog is on the roof. It’s only plastic, and I’m afraid it will break through!

It surprisingly did not!  Granted it did leave a few holes.  That dog loved Kevin and I think the owner’s intention was to put it in the house while we packed up not to bother us. But it found the best escape it could find to everyone’s amazement!

Now, on to the lake we couldn’t see last night in the dark…

Kevin pulls over and asks if I’d like to check out this restaurant.  Already!!??  We actually didn’t eat at the restaurant we spent the night in and always one to take time out to enjoy a place AND a view, he’s found a good one.

The little rooftop window looks like the spot.

So we cross the bridge and luckily someone was inside.  I suspected it would have been closed like the others, but we scored!

From the window, I spot some locals around the bike.  I kept my camera and zoom on them to make sure it was only curiosity.  And it was!  They actually hung around until we were finished to take photos of us and themselves on our bikes with their phones.

Kevin was right, this was a far better destination for the night compared to staying in Pasto.. gorgeous!

After our amazing Trucha (trout) brunch, we got back on the road heading south to Las Lajas.  This is a place Kevin found in the book while we were arriving Colombia by boat, and he has had this place as a must see ever since.

On the way, though.. view stop!!  He spotted a gorgeous waterfall.

‘Twas a good stop..  We didn’t have to go far until we arrived Ipiales, the closest town to Las Lajas Sanctuary.

We spot the church from the road… (bottom middle). I’m not an architect, so how did they do that across a river in a valley?

We found the right track down the hill so we can check it out more.

At the bottom while trying to find a safe place to park the bike, look what we found!?

It’s Patrick’s bike!  Kevin is looking at me in disbelief.  Well, we knew Patrick was still in Colombia, we just didn’t know where.  I love it when these things happen! We called and beeped horns, but we couldn’t find him.

Once we were off the bikes and walking down the hill to the Sanctuary, Patrick was on his way up.  It was so good to see him again and we talked him into coming right back down the hill and exploring the church for a second time with us.. ha!

As I look at this place, I wonder who was sitting on a hill one day and envisioned building a massive church like this on the side of a steep hill and over a dag gone river.. that is imagination!

More info from wikipedia if interested Las Lajas Sanctuary

Sorry too many photos of this place.  We were just so impressed on how you build a big church like this on a rocky cliff.  Wizz past these photos if they bore you..

We wandered inside, and of course the sanctuary is impressive.  But what really got us were the taxidermy animals downstairs..  Check these guys out!

Count the legs if you can!

See Patrick, you missed this on your first visit. How much better is it to explore with me and Kev!  We are seriously wondering why they have these deformed guys in the church.  A visible miracle?  Or taken more as a warning?  Not sure, there was no info whatsoever about them, they are literally just sitting here in the church cubby hole.

Now we get inspired to climb the hill to get photos of ourselves with the church.

After we took photos of ourselves, we saw a little dirt road. Then we got excited to see if we could bring the bikes around and photograph them with the church as well! We are proper scary crazy tourists here!!

While up here these cute Colombian kids were playing and they were entranced by the motorcycles.

One little brave one came over to me.

Then another one, so I put the bike in neutral and let them rev the motor.  They were beyond excited!!!  Jumping up and down.. screaming….!!

I eventually let them come and sit with me on the bike.

Originally from America. Proud citizen of Australia. Currently riding my motorcycle around the world. 44 countries so far and counting. ;-)

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