Our carefully careless route led us to the a barred road, iron gate locked shut beneath a terra cotta arch. The road snaked its way up a dark mountain, to ticket booths and parking lots and little souvenier shops. The sign at the top of the arch read Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira.
The Cathedral of Salt.
“You're quiet,” Lara said.
“Sorry. Dread has that effect.”
She could make a living off of that smirk. Actually, she did. “I mean you move quietly. That's good.”
“Why is that good?”
Lara nodded up at the mountain. “We're going in.”
She didn't respond, but ducked under the gate and hurried off to the side of the road, out of the ring of the streetlights. I took a drink of the aguardiente and strolled as casually as I could over to her. There was no way I could recreate her stealth, so I might as well not look so obviously sneaky.
We stayed crouched to the side of the path on our way up. Nobody was around to even hide from, it seemed.
“What are we doing here?” I asked.
“Didn't you say you wanted to visit the other day in Bogota?”
“I also said I'd like to see the Museo de Oro. We aren't breaking into that.”
My family was back in Bogota. They'd left me with Lara at the bar and gone off to a little craft plaza and a fruiteria. Two hours had passed since they hopped into Marisia's Nissan. By my estimation, Lara and I had been traveling for three days. The Necronomicoin in my pocket was starting to wear on me. It has a way of doing that if you don't spend it. At first I thought the veil of the world was slipping away but that night in Zipaquira I started thinking it was me slipping away from it. I had to get rid of these coins. I should have let Lara steal them and in their absence earn myself oblivion.
“What are we going to find here?”
“A reflecting pool.”
“None of those on the surface?”
We climbed a steep set of stairs up. At the top of them were the closed concessions and barred museum entrance. A huge metal statue of a miner stood above us with his pickaxe buried deep in the earth. Down a short ramp was an ampitheater and beyond that, the entrance to the Catedral. A guard waited there.
“How are we going to get past him?”
“He won't even know we're here.”
Purposefully, Lara walked into the light and the center of the wide open ampitheater. She neared the guard and he made no indication of seeing her. I sighed and hurried to catch up.
“We aren't here for what they're guarding. And what we are here for, the guards are much worse.”
We hopped over a set of locked turnstiles and stood before a tunnel. It was black and it descended and it led to a reflecting pool two hundred meters below a mountain, in an old mine converted to a cathedral. The Cathedral of Salt.