November 22, 2016
Before we explored Lake Guatavita, we stopped at the town that shares its name. While the town wasn't much to see, the snack we had after exploring it was definitely a highlight. The drink is named 'aqua de panel con queso' and translates to: water with cane sugar and cheese. And that's what it is: hot sugar water that you drop chunks of cheese into. That may not sound especially appealing, but I'm telling you, it was delicious. I'm so on board with adding cheese to all my hot drinks! The specific cheese used in our drinks was campesino.
Lake Guatavita has a storied past, as the indigenous tribes used to deposit offerings of gold and other precious materials there. Along come the Spanish colonists who take any number of measures to retrieve said goodies, mostly failing to do so and inflicting horrendous amounts of environmental damage. At one point in the 1600's, using little more than hand tools, they basically broke the lake.
While we didn't find any gold, we did find wonderful views and interesting trees and plants.
I know what you're thinking: you've see one church, you've seen them all. Not so with the Salt Cathedral. What started as a salt mine has been turned into a massive, and I do mean massive, underground church. The rooms are huge and there's essentially a large wing dedicated to just shopping. The official tour apparently takes two hours, though we zipped through the whole experience in a little under an hour (thanks to Shira). It's one of the most remarkable architectural achievements I've ever experienced.