I chose to spend the last 5 days in an easy, relaxed countryside of lush, green coffee plantations, livestock and poncho-strewn cowboys. It’s been a nice transition . . . staying at a beautiful hostal in the hills filled with lots of fellow travelers, many also finishing their own 8-12 month adventures.
Monday I walked through the countryside visiting with locals, practicing my spanish, and sampling tasty lemonade from this young fellow’s store . . .
. . . and getting tips on how to look and feel this energetic at 86 years old.
Tuesday I visited Sachamama, a fair trade, pesticide free coffee farm. From proprietors Pedro and Mar (who took the land from cow pasture in to jungle) we learned how and why it’s good for us, the environment and the world to biodiversify.
We also had the opportunity to pick, roast and bag our own coffee to take back home.
Wednesday brought well-earned vistas and a first hand look at the national tree, the 60 meter high, 200 year old palma cera (the wax palm tree).
Our Swiss hiking partner told us this could be a view from her country so I feel I’m getting to see two countries at once
Thursday I ambled around the colorful town. . .
. . . got a view of the town from the hilltop swings at El Mirador and visited local artisans . . .
tasted the strongest espresso of my life at the central square. . .
and savored the typical local dish of trucha and patacones (salmonid trout and platanos).
Now it’s Friday and I’m flying home, 387 days since I drove out of Seattle in my MINI. Very excited to see my friends and see what adventures are in store next!!
Salento (La Zona Cafetera), Quindío, Colombia