Farm Life

After thoroughly exploring Medellin and the Departamento de Antioquia we headed to our next destination: the dairy farm of Alberto’s father in the Colombian highlands around Labores. Located at an average altitude of 2600 meters, the climatic conditions here were similar to Germany – that means pretty cool and moist. Accordingly, it was raining at the evening of our arrival at the farmhouse, which made the crossing of the self-built suspension bridge leading to the house even harder. But after landing on our bums twice we finally arrived safe on the opposite side and could enjoy a mutual meat and cheese raclette which made the fairly cool temperatures bearable.

The next day we explored the countryside and admired the well fed cows on the pasture. Especially a few hours old calf and its loving mother were an amazing site. Watching the little bull taking its first, still wobbly steps, kept us mesmerized for an hour. After this emotional scene the ascent of the 3,000 meter high local mountain through proper bush was a more physical experience. Fighting mud, dense undergrowth and many cobwebs we struggled upwards and after an hour we could enjoy a great view of the hilly landscape from the summit. Which would not have been possible just some years ago as this area still was an important refuge of FARC guerrillas because of its inaccessibility. At the end of our stay Steffen was offered a riding tour to another farm, although he was “only” fobbed off with a mule. Probably they did not trust him to ride one of the hot-blooded horses. But as it turned out, a mule also can go quite fast. Yeaha!!!Kolumbien-32 Kolumbien-33

After Labores we continued North to the Colombian Pampa, more precisely to Ayapel. This small village is situated on a vast wetland with lakes, rivers and swamps. On the numerous small and large islands in between, many wealthy Colombians have built their holiday homes, in part, as in Alberto’s case, with an adjoining mango farm. But that was not the only surprise, as back in Medellin Alberto had apologized that farm’s motorboat was still in repair and only the small boat will be available. But the “small boat” with its huge leather couch and big table should prove to be more than adequate for us.

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But the Wow!!! moments where not over. Because when we arrived at the “farm”, we thought we were dreaming. While Labores farm had already been located and decorated beautifully, in Ayapel we felt like in a luxury resort. A swimming pool, two personal cooks, a gardener and a boat captain, incredibly delicious food (like pizza from a stone oven, which has been a former termite mound), fresh mangoes and at the doorstep a fantastic natural landscape: Simply heavenly. The latter, we went to explore later by boat and it was so amazing that our camera did not go quiet for the whole trip.

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But also for the friends of water sports, there was plenty to do. For example the farm’s jet ski was used extensively in all variations and Steffen could even go for some wakeboarding. Sadly the pregnant Franka was not allowed to do such “extrem sports” anymore. Therefore she could only stand on the shore sad faced, until she was allowed to play with the jet ski at least. More leisurely was the following morning as we went on a fishing trip to catch some lunch. In the end it became too leisurely, because we caught nothing. But the breathtaking scenery was reward enough.

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The next day we checked out the rest of Albertos extensive mango farm, but the trees were still too young to already bearing fruit. Accordingly, we had to steal from the neighbor. An attractive conclusion of our visit to Ayapel was the positive pregnancy test of Paulina. This joyful news we celebrated with a sunset boat tour the same evening including a Cheating-Max dice game and a final dip in the soothing warm water.

Kolumbien-55 Kolumbien-54Then our days in Ayapel came to an end but luckily there were more exciting adventures waiting for us.