Valle de Cocora
I suspect our life here will be full of epic weekends. AZ used to tease me about being a Vancouver native. He had a theory that people born in Vancouver don’t venture out of their comfort zone in the same way that the ‘imports’ from Ontario do (or Onterrible, as I like to call it. AZ spent a significant amount of his youth in Ontario). He had a point – When we were looking for a first home, I was reluctant to look at anything “East of Cambie Street”… and I didn’t discover and appreciate the North Shore woods until… ahem… recently. Still, I have in many ways taken AZ’s teasing as a challenge, dragging him and the kids to as many new places as possible… camping, hiking, kayaking. I didn’t like being accused of taking my beautiful province for granted.
Now, rather than trying to prove AZ wrong, I think I finally understand what might have motivated some of those folk from ‘out East’. Because I know we won’t be in Cali forever, I have this extra drive to get out and do stuff. My 2012 edition of the Colombia Lonely Planet arrives in August.
Over the weekend, outside of Salento, we went on a beautiful hike. Stunning. In the Valle de Cocora, Colombian Coffee Triangle, home of the wax palm.
We rode about a third of the way on horseback and hiked the rest on foot, visiting a hummingbird sanctuary and mountaintop farm along the way. The horsey part wasn’t our greatest moment as parents. We should have heeded the alarm bells that went off when our babes got tied to their horses with old ponchos… and when two of the horses missed the first turn and our guide had to sprint to catch them.
We crossed a river a few times (I couldn’t get any good shots, what with hanging on for dear life). S and E’s horses liked to speed up and pass other groups of horses, and, more than once, I worried that they would be crossing the river solo… at the wrong spot. Some of the terrain was so rocky and rough that the lead horse had to be kicked forward in encouragement.
Thankfully, our guide held onto W’s reigns (him being six and all).
We did survive. And were rewarded with amazing views and appetites for pizza and beer.
Our accommodation also deserves mention: El Portal de Cocora. A three bedroom cabin with views of the Valley.
Breakfast included. Outstanding. Good to get to know the ‘hood.
Filed under: Traveling near and far | 4 Comments