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Friday, August 14, 2009

Gone Potty!

During our stay in Villa de Leyva, we hopped onto a collectivo and made a day trip to the pottery town of Raquira, 30 minutes away.

A burst of colour greeted us!

Not just plain ol' painted faces - check out the murals adorning the walls. Even the lamps are prettily designed!

A speckled horse bringing goods from store to store

Raquira is not only famous for pottery, although that makes up a good share of the artisan works on display. Hammocks swing from every inch of available space on the shop facades - catching the eyes of bargain-hunters skulking the streets.

It's swinging time!

These tightly woven cloth beds are large and wide, and seem capable of withstanding a good amount of weight. We've seen these dangling from the ceiling of all the hostels that we've stayed in - and can testify to their popularity with the guests as well as their comfort levels! In one of the hostels in San Gil, the hammock came in handy for swinging the owner's squealing infant into a peaceful lull.

When he's big enough to climb into one, he's gonna want to be wrapped snug in a hammock all the time instead of sitting on that hard cold step!

If I were going straight home, I would SO buy this chair hammock back. I can just picture myself relaxing on it, feet dangling, with a good book in hand.

There was alot of warm clothing on sale too, mostly made from alpaca wool and so soft to touch! I had to will myself to stop stroking a supersoft poncho and walk away - it sucks when you have to be sensible and travel as light as possible, or rather, only with as much as you can stuff down the throat of your poor backpack with it splitting it's sides. And no, I really don't want to have a gaudy "china bag" as an additional travel companion. The kids cardigans were beautifully embroidered with colourful animal shapes like birds, llamas, sheep and horses! I kept picking them up to touch... but it's a bit nutty to buy one in advance for the future kid? Especially when the kid is still at er, the sperm stage... Well, moving on....

This store owner went overboard and decided to display everything they had for sale on the outside...

Not only the artisan stores get to flaunt their colourful wares on their facades. The cafetarias and religious alters refused to be outdone too!

Enjoy that Colombian cuppa from behind a pretty wall

No, you weren't imagining those visions of singing angels when you said your prayers

It was in Raquira that I finally bought my one and only souvenir from Colombia - a simple multi-coloured woven headband for about US$1.50. Not one for souvenirs, I reasoned with myself that the headband would come in handy for holding back stray hairs from my face when I'm struggling up a mountain trail, instead of me constantly trying to brush my hair aside with clumsy gloved paws. Yeah, a woman who really wants to buy that coveted item will think of any reason to justify her purchase.

Pity we couldn't cart back any of the pottery wares either.

Wonder which pot Dan would like to own. Anyone wanna make a (obvious) guess?

Not able to buy much, we were all set to return to Villa de Leyva within a couple of hours. The problem was, our bus driver was nowhere to be found! We last spotted him nosing through the offerings at various stores, with his assistant and plastic bag of purchases in tow. And then lost him totally. We hung around the plaza and managed to flag down another collectivo that was leaving town... only after the driver had finally filled all 10 seats in his van with passengers.

All in all, a pretty good side trip. Even if you didn't come to Raquira with the intention to buy anything, you're sure to leave with a colourful handicraft in hand!

Always check the source of the water before you take that sip!


Macadama Nutter said...

hahahah i like the pic of the doggy!

Macadama Nutter said...

btw...it's me..2n

Tracy Su said...

Dan would like the ass! But which one? Hee.

I like the pictures on this post very much =)

Yi Lin said...

2n - yeah, the poor doggy didn't know what she was in for. Did you mean to spell "Macadamia" by the way...

Trace - Haha, er, I think Dan likes his asses to take on a human form. The pix are really colourful yah. The buildings reminded me of our shophouses in Spore.

Dannie said...

I like the ass on the right! But our right or their right? Hmmmm....

Stephanie said...

great pictures! love them all.:)

h3Artily said...

buy the hammock and mail it home! =) i likes too!

Anonymous said...

Have never seen such explosion of colors on a building! Maybe that's what Chinatown in Singapore sorely needs... and a few mules... no, I don't mean my co-workers... although... heehee...

Yi Lin said...

Aini - a French girl told us she bought 2 hammocks for US$22 total. But if we mail these back to Spore, they are going to be the most expensive hammocks... EVER! Your Dannie Korkor says cannot buy.

Anonymous - I think there are a few oddly painted shophouses along the pedestrian mall in Chinatown? Big floral motifs - look bit outta place! I think the arty facades work for Raquira - cos it's an artisan town. Not sure what can be done with Chinatown. Many colonial towns in S.America are all whitewashed. But that won't go down well with the Chinese I'm sure!

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