The inocentes in finca heaven

11 Jul


Our finca weekend lived up to its reputation.

After a four-hour drive (with a brief stop so that I could throw up a banana)(the roads are winding!) and another stop at the Río Claro, we finally arrived at the finca of Camilo’s family, and were greeted by one of three macaws (guacamayas) that roam free on the grounds. I was very careful to stay away from its beak (it bit Tam last year because she was eating a delicious piece of meat), but it was friendly-ish and so, so beautiful.

The grounds are located in a valley between Medellín and Bogotá. It is carved out of jungle and is now surrounded by farming areas, and it is hot. Like, hot hot. We were also nearby Pablo Escobar’s famous finca, Nápoles. The buildings are sort of in ruin, now, but you can visit it and get a glimpse at how the most infamous Colombian spent his down-time (when he wasn’t convincing street children to kill police officers and orchestrating for political rivals to be blown up, mid-air). We didn’t visit it, but one of the managers of the finca recalled a time when everyone in the region was–in some way–connected with Nápoles.

Camilo’s finca is managed by a small family who lives there and takes care of the many animals on the grounds. When we arrived, the daughters split for the weekend and the mother and father stuck around to do cooking, tack horses and spend time with us.

The house was a colorful, open-air and rustic building. The grounds had turkeys, chickens, horses, pigs and the customary dog and cat. We saw a few visitors (iguanas and cows) while we lounged around swimming, resting and eating. There were also a lot of night visitors, and the huge bugs seemed to really, really like me. One cricket, in particular, would not leave me alone.

We danced into the night and swam and drank. We woke up in the morning to eggs, arepas and chocolate (the drinking kind) to ease us out of the hangover. We swam, we relaxed and we roamed the grounds. Jota and Carlos went off on horseback while I rested and watched Colombia beat Bolivia (2-0) in the on-going Copa America (as an aside, I have to maintain that the entire edifice was very rustic. So rustic that we had to change out TVs when one TV didn’t work with the power source).

At 2PM we had sancocho, a traditional Colombian stew. Lots of families will make a big vat of sancocho on the weekend and have the entire family over to eat it. It is a panacea, from colds to hangovers (but especially for hangovers), it has comforting restorative powers. Or magic. Or something.

And then, we had to come home. The drive was long, and we didn’t arrive home until 10PM (so I missed a Skype date with my family, who were partying at home, sad), and we slept and slept and slept. What a great, great weekend. I wish I could transport the idea to the US, so that we could all finca together.


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