At breakfast, we met Florian in Pasto. He asked if we were heading to the border and wanted to share a cab to the bus station. We said we were, but that we had a car and offered him a ride all the way.
Another two hours or so of mountains got us to the border town of Ipiales. Ipiales has 1 claim to fame, the neo-gothic church built into the side of a mountain and over a river outside of town.
It was built where someone had seen the image of the Virgin Mary on the cliff. The back wall behind the image is the natural rock. I didn’t see it.
We arrived during mass, so it was full of people inside and out. The church is said to be responsible for thousands of miracles, and thank you plaques cover the rock walls of the grounds outside.
The church is beautiful, but oddly out of place in this area. Along the walk to the church vendors are selling souvenirs and snacks, including roasted guinea pig on a stick.
I couldn’t resist a photo on a hat-wearing alpaca (or was it a llama?) for the equivalent of 50 cents. That was two dollars cheaper than the Popsicle that I used to bribe Bode to get on it. You can see he was thrilled about it.