March 25th, 2010
On the weekends we’ve been exploring different regions of the country and we’re still waiting to see a part of Colombia that doesn’t look like paradise. Our first week here we went to our family’s ranch (or finca in Spanish) 2 hours outside the city. It is the ultimate place to relax. We spent our time in hammocks, playing board games, watching two iguanas fight it out for the alpha male title, and star gazing while drinking wine. Our busiest day was the Cabalgata, a huge community organized horseback ride through the mountains. This is one of my favorite things to do in Colombia. After hours of riding on horseback everyone met up at the two local bars; live music at one, cockfighting at the other. You don’t get a more authentic experience than this!
We spent another weekend with our family at a finca in a part of of Colombia I’d never been to. Along the way we stopped at one of Colombia’s most iconic spots: El Peñol. It’s this giiiiiigaaaaantic rock in the middle of all of these lakes and islands. The view was spectacular and we were amazed at how varied the landscapes in Colombia are. We drove through a charming city called Guatapé which reminded us of Lake Arrowhead village, except every house had so much character with brightly painted patterns, we’d never seen anything like it.
This finca was at the base of these enormous mountains and we could constantly hear the sound of the rushing water from the bordering creek with water clear and clean enough to drink. Our crew of 13 people took a hike up the mountain and then cooled off by swimming in one of the many creeks. We spent hours playing a really fun game called sapo (frog) where you try to throw rings into one of 15 holes, including a frog’s mouth. Shockingly, this was a game I could beat Noah in, making it my new favorite game.