Wednesday, May 4, 2011

seeing Colombia: Villa de Leyva part III

What can I say? I'm on a roll...

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After the muddy fun at the Ostrich Farm, a quick clothing swap and short drive, we arrived at the Dinosaur Park (I have no idea if this place has a name other than "Dinosaur Park", so let's just go with that, shall we?). This area of Colombia is well known for its palaeontology as fossils from the Mesozoic and Cretaceous periods abound. There is one rather large fossil of an almost complete kronosaurus housed in a museum (El Fossil) not far from both the ostrich farm and dinosaur park, but it didn't sound quite interesting enough to warrant the search. 

This place, however, was WELL worth it, as you will see...

I won't bore you with a lot of text in this post. I think the pictures speak for themselves. Besides it would be mostly repeated variations of "The boys loved it!" and "Look! A dinosaur!"

I will say that the park was really, really neat. If any of my readers have been to the Prehistoric Park at the Calgary Zoo, THIS WAS BETTER. Instead of completely man-made, synthetic everything, all of the dinosaurs here just seem to have been plunked down in the country side. It was the closest one could get to observing full-size dinosaurs in their known environment. The boys had a blast running up and down the paths, while I couldn't get enough of the different plants and amazing views. 

Peter spent most of the time pushing the sleeping Andrew around in the stroller, but he did wake up at the end in time to enjoy the last part of the park. Even though it was only around 11am, he was just so tired.

Speaking of tired, poor Simon.

All three boys came down with a brutal cough during this trip, but Simon's was the worst. The night before, he'd coughed ALL. NIGHT. LONG. Which meant that I was awake ALL. NIGHT. LONG. When he would cough, I'd start counting at one and keep going until he coughed again.

The highest I got was to 18.

He hardly slept at all and then ran all morning... wait til you see the pictures of him later on!

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Simon had changed into Liam's long sleeved shirt since the mud from the
 Ostrich Farm made it onto both shirts he'd been wearing AND his back

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this little stream just looked prehistoric! it almost wasn't 
surprising to look down and see one of these guys (below)

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Remember how tired I said Simon was? Well this next picture proves it. It wasn't that I snapped it mid-blink... this is just how his eyes looked. Only half open.

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Liam enjoyed it much more than I thought he would. He was really into it and wanted to pose with every single dinosaur. Multiple times.

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tired, tired boy
tired, tired eyes

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a shale covered hill... sorry, I thought it looked cool

While Peter was down below with Andrew, the older two boys and I had walked the upper circuit where the stroller couldn't have gone... and perhaps where the 32 1/2 weeks pregnant lady shouldn't have gone. I was constantly shouting to the boys to "Slow down! Mummy can't run uphill anymore!". Except it was more like:




*struggles for breath* 








*curses self for not letting Peter do this instead*


And then I died on the side of a mountain in Colombia's Boyaca region all in the name of photographing my dinosaur enthusiast sons.

The End.

Actually, our main reason for taking this upper path was to reach the Stegosaurus. Liam had seen this guy from the parking lot waaaaay up there at the top of the hill and INSISTED that the stegosaurus is his ALLTIMEFAVOURITEDINOSAUR and could NOT be missed.

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And this next picture made the arduous -and almost deadly- uphill climb totally worth it. It is SO LIAM. 

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But did you notice the sky behind him? 


So we hurried down the hill (as much as my huffing and puffing would allow) to find Peter and Andrew before the rain invariably started.

But not before stopping to climb a Wooly Mammoth.

Of course.

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not much left in this little tank

Liam snapped these next two pictures of the mammoth...

Simon and that wooly beast are in there too.  ;)

(See what I did there? Yeah, I'm not really that self-deprecating. Promise.)

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horizontal stripes?? you're pregnant, remember Amy?!

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a slightly out of focus family picture that I just barely managed to sit down in time for

After the dinosaur park, we drove home while desperately trying to keep Simon awake. After a not-quick-enough and relatively unimpressive lunch at the hotel restaurant, it was back to our room for a forced nap for one poor middle child, while Peter took the other two to the hotel's game room...

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Andrew playing with the tasteless plantain chips

...and then we all went to the pool for another swim once Simon woke up. I know I already posted a ton of pictures of the boys swimming, but I can't resist this series of them in their mandatory swimming caps.

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At the risk of making this already picture heavy post even more heavily laden, just a few more (promise) taken at supper that night when we went out for pizza in town at a place called Al Forno. One of the travel sites we looked at touted it as one of the top 20 pizza places in South America. I'm not sure how something like that can be measured, exactly, but it was very good. And very family-friendly compared to the place from the night before.

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We'd bought a bag of cookies the day before without realizing that they came with a pack of pencil crayons. Genius. Totally saved the night and gave Peter and I the chance to talk a bit before the food came.

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One of the great things about Al Forno is the art covering the walls. Paintings and photographs done by local artists, all for sale right off the walls. We didn't buy anything, but I loved the idea and the ambiance the pieces gave the place.

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And lastly, a picture that Peter took of me... looking almost as tired as Simon after a long, long day. I converted it to black and white to try to mask the total sunglasses/racoon-eye sunburn I managed to get during the day's adventures. Trust me. It was bad.

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Thus concludes a very fun, but very full day. Packed from start to finish, it was well worth the 4 hour drive to Villa de Leyva... and you haven't even seen all the pictures from the following day yet!


  1. wow! that dinosaur park looks incredible. way cool. the ostrich farm? hmmm, good thing the dino park was such a hit. ;0)

    glad to hear you have been able to get out for some adventures.

  2. What a great post! I wanted to crawl into the pictures and see all the dinosaurs. Way to go on climbing to the top of the hill (love the narative) you are such a great mom! Especially love the pictures of tired Simon. You have such a beautiful family!

  3. Sounds like a fabulous time!!! Obviously the boys LOVED the expense of all your climbing, huffing and puffing. What super memories you are making with them. What fun times! They will remember Bogota with memories of great, fun times together. Can't believe you did all that climbing and running at that stage in your must be in good shape! Love, mom/mora/nana

  4. This looks like a memory making time that your family will always remember, especially the boys! They will talk about it forever!!! You all looked like you were having the best of times! Simon did look tired :) Hugs, A. Dianne


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