Wednesday, October 31, 2007
A trip to Monserrate
Yesterday morning we had to speed up our morning as we were going to Monserrate at 9:30. It usually takes us all morning to get in two feedings, a nap, breakfast for us, showers, getting dressed, picking up the room, and getting the diaper bag ready. Not today! We're on our way to living a normal life and getting her ready by 6:45 and out the door.
Carmen, the hotel concierge, picked us up, as well as Patty & Sam, and two French families from the other Zuetana (there are two). I had Murphy strapped into the Snugli, which she doesn't mind. She just doesn't like to stop. Driving or walking that is. So when our driver got stopped for speeding, she got a little squirmy. We finally made it to the bottom of Monserrate and then rode a train to the top.
Monserrate was built in the 1600's. It is 10,000 feet above sea level. (Bogota itself is about 8000 feet above sea level...Denver, for example, is 5280 feet above sea level.) So not to disturb the harmony of nature, a cable car takes you to the top of the hill.
At the top of the hill, the sanctuary looks over top of Bogota.
In the sanctuary, there is a statue of the Black Virgin, and was dedicated by the Spaniards. She is supposed to bring fertility to those who visit and good health to your children. Rob and I wondered if we should have been here in 1998 when we first started trying to get pregnant!
There is an image (statue of some sort) of Jesus with the thorns on his head, cuts on his back from the whips, laying down in pain.
There weren't very many people there when we were there but services are held regularly and even weddings are held in the church.
As you walk up to the sanctuary, there are also the 14 stations of the cross.
Many people climb the trail to the top of the hill while others take the cable car. We were told not to climb the trail as bandits hide in the trees and rob those who walk by. I guess on Sundays many, many people climb the trails so it is safer. In addition, as penance people climb ON THEIR KNEES to the top of the hill and to the sanctuary. Once you get to the top of the hill, there are granite stones to get to the sanctuary. Imagine climbing on your knees on that stone.
The view of the city is beautiful. We were so high you could see the fog moving in.
Beyond the sanctuary there are vendors selling Colombian items as well as many Catholic things. We bought Murphy some gifts to give over the next 18 years. We also ate a chococlate covered coffee bean which really made me crave a Friday morning latte! :)
They were starting to decorate for Christmas while we were there. It reminded me of the city workers putting decorations on light poles in town.
There are so many pretty plants and flowers. This plant is absolutely white. It looks like it was spray painted.
It was a little cooler at the top but I was comfortable in a hooded sweatshirt. Rob had short sleeved shirt on and he was fine.
Murphy was so good. She likes to be outside and like I said, she likes to move. She got hungry about the time we got to the vendors so she ate a little and then was good.
When we got back to the motel, we ate and went to the store to buy diapers. Rob's mom sent the rest of our stuff here, which includes Rob's pillow and more diapers. It isn't here yet so we had to buy some. I think what we got was the cheapest of the cheap.
We also stopped at Artisan, a shop that has many Colombian gifts or trinkets. She got a little cranky while we were there (I wasn't walking fast enough) so we went back to the motel. She never really got over being grumpy and she wouldn't go to sleep. We had an idea it was going to be a long night. She screamed bloody murder for about 20 minutes. During this time, the power went out in the area and the motel staff brought us a candle. We thought the knock on the door was either an offer of help with the screaming child or a request for silence. She finally sat in the bouncy seat long enough to calm down then Rob held her until she fell asleep. That was about 6:30. We went downstaris to eat, came back upstairs, still no electricity. So I went to bed. It was about 8:00. She woke up at 10:30 for a bottle and again at 2:00. She woke up again at 6:00 this morning and was a totally happy kid. We went downstairs for breakfast and she started to fuss a little. So we came back up here, fed her, and she's been sleeping now for almost two hours. We don't have anything planned for the day so we're going to walk around the area. Rob didn't go the other day because he wasn't feeling good. He is feeling better now, though. I'm getting a cold. Murphy's eye is better. We're still giving her drops but it looks back to normal now.
Today we are going to walk to Exito, Colombia's version of Walmart and then tonight we are going to a Halloween party at the other Zuetana. We aren't dressing up and I didn't buy anything for her. I did see a cute outfit on our area tour the other day.
One last picture of Murphy & Daddy!