Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Venturing out: Fusagasugá

Written by Karen.
We ventured out of Bogota again over the weekend, heading south this time and dropping 2,943 feet in altitude to visit the town of Fusagasugá. Since Fusagasugá or Fusa, as it is also called, is about 40 miles outside of Bogota, we figured that with an early start we should arrive by 11:30 am, at the latest.  

Fusagasugá is known as a city of flowers - a big hit with me! - and I had also read about a coffee plantation located in Fusagasugá that offered tours of the coffee growing/producing business.  We added that to our list of things to possibly do and explore in the area.  

To our surprise, with traffic and multiple stops, the 40-mile journey took 3-1/2 hours by bus!  (Postscript: To our absolute amazement, the return trip home took 4-3/4 hours by bus!) 

We arrived in the main square of Fusagasugá at 1:00 pm; too late to explore the coffee plantation, but just in time for lunch!  We started to walk around the quaint town, looking for an interesting place to eat. We found a really nice little restaurant and enjoyed our lunch.  After our repast, we started to wander around the town again.

Sometimes when your plans change, you find something else amazing to explore.  This was the case with the Sunday market.  The Sunday market turned out to be our surprise in Fusagasugá.  It was huge; full of flowers, meats, vegetables and fruits - with the ripe smells fragrant in the warm and moist air.  It was dynamic and absolutely wonderful.

The cars were parked tightly on the street leading to the Sunday market.  You could hear the sellers extolling their wares from a distance. 
This painting is part of a mural that covers one of the entrances to the inside market.  There was no date on the painting, but it had a patina that said it had been there awhile.
The inside market was a huge cavernous space filled with beautiful displays of meat, fruits, flowers and vegetables.

Looking down on the indoor market from another stairway.
The displays were works of art; neatly stacked and arranged.  Everything was picked ripe and ready to eat.  
Beautiful displays of potatoes and beans.
Doesn't this just make you want to go vegetarian for the day?! 
Going bananas! 
The meat department.  While we were watching the butcher, a customer came and asked for some meat.  The butcher came over to the meat hanging on the hooks, and with a very sharp knife, sliced off 3 kilos of meat.   
These guys were sharpening their knives as they wrapped up an order.
The rest of the days selection.  It was hot that day - maybe in the mid-80's - so I'm not sure how this works with the meat hanging out in the open air without refrigeration.  But, it clearly does.  We saw customer after customer come in for their freshly-butchered meat.
These chicks cost 1400 COP (or .78 USD) each.
These are twice the size at 4,700 COP ($2.61 USD) each.
There is something to that adage, let sleeping dogs lie!
Display of potatoes 
Outside vendors vying for customers.  The avocados that are in the front of the picture are the size of small footballs, ripe and completely delicious.
Lush plants and beautiful orchids for sale.
Winding alleys kept leading you deeper and deeper into the market place.  
Beautiful spring flowers grab your attention from the flower stall.  
When we got on the bus for our ride back to Bogota, I noticed this mural on the back of our bus. I told Adam that this mural meant that our trip should go smoothly (bus drivers can drive pretty fast on these longer bus rides!) and that we would be safe.  Adam shrugged and mentioned that I should look at the front of the bus, where there are two big, green, puffy dice hanging!  We did get home safely - but it took us 4 hours and 45 minutes!

No comments: