Colombia

Beginner’s Guide: Colombia Farm Life

Just a hop, skip, and a jump, and 2 and half-hours outside of Bogota, and you will find yourself surrounded by beautiful green mountains. Nothing other than nature, greenery and trees, as far as the eye can see.

Santiago, two of his aunts, his father and myself took the trip to his father’s newly purchased farm, just a few days after Christmas. We piled in the Ford Explorer with our hats, sunglasses, and warm weather clothes and hit the road, excited to spend some time out of the city and check out the new farm.

We spent 3 full days in the countryside, filled with eating, walking, drinking beer and enjoying each others’ company. To put the farm or rural Colombia into perspective, there is a town that consists of about 2 blocks, one main square with a church, a couple of “restaurants”, which are merely people’s houses that they serve food upon request, and tiendas (or little stores) where people sit around and drink beer. That’s it. No movie theater, no museums, no shopping. Nothing. So what is it that someone does in a town like this?

Well drink. Mainly beer. All weekend long, and sometimes during the week too. You wonder why productivity in a country like Colombia is so low. Clearly, they aren’t doing very much on Mondays after drinking all day Sunday.

Here are a few tips & tricks for enjoying the farm life in Colombia:

DSC04088Watch out for all the chickens

The chickens more or less run free. Well, that is if you don’t have them cooped up in a barn. While they are flightless birds, the chances of you coming across one in little towns around Colombia are quite high.

DSC04102Bring a bottle of water & a walking stick

The aunts brought their walking sticks for climbing up the mountain. Mountains cover much of Colombia, so there is a significant expanse of farm land that is found in the mountains. Also, beware of the altitude. Bogota is already at about 8,500 feet up in the mountains, so as you continue to go up, don’t forget to hydrate!

DSC04151DSC04139Keep your eyes pealed 

Looks as though we found the rainforest? Colombia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. And while we were not in the Amazons, you can still find plants that have been around for hundreds of years and leaves that are bigger than you are!

DSC04118DSC04099DSC04129Mooooo-ve out of my way

The farm of Santiago’s father had about 80 cows, including a few baby cows. This one above was only 10 days old! While these cows aren’t going to come at you like a bull, you don’t want to get in their way if they are running towards something.

DSC04172Slow down & smell the roses

These roses don’t seem to be on the export list for the American Valentine’s day, even though over 60% of all flowers imported in the US are from Colombia. The Colombian flower industry exports over $1.3Bn in flowers every year, and it continues to grow. Flowers continue to be a top Colombian export, after oil and coal.

DSC04187

Nothing quite like watching the sunset over uninhabited mountains. Looking forward to spending more time here, escaping from the hustle and bustle of city life.

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