It was somewhere on the bus ride from San Gil to Barichara that it hit us, the Santander region is by far the most beautiful area of Colombia we have seen.
Located in the north-eastern satchel of the country, Santander is full of lush rolling hills with body builder trees lifting weights of moss.
When we got off the bus in Barichara, I realized that somewhere along the road we must have projected our vehicle into a worm hole with such velocity that we traveled through space and time to a parallel dimension or into the past of our own.
There is almost no other way to describe this town's preservation. The hills are lined with white stucco walls and burning red clay shingles, and surrounded by canyons and clouds. You feel as though every cobble stone road were moving in slow motion and that some patron saint had been created to protect this land from God's evolving hand. This being the only explanation for the many corner cathedrals with slanted floors to pour prayers like water to the streets.
Every year in May after the giant, flying, red roof matching ants build their nests in corners of cliffs and rafters, they take to the street in celebration of their labor and coat the sky in a plague-like charm, until the people below cast their nets for the harvest.
From there the smells of toasted red roof ants fill the air, and are used to season steaks and are candied for children's tongues.
It is the perfectly risen altitude of Barichara, that makes the hunters and gathers weightless, but only once a year.