La Finca

Down On A Colombian Farm

After our stop at the Mud Volcano, Greg, Matt, and I continued riding along the coast past Santa Marta to a small town where Matt’s friends have a farm. In Colombia, and other Spanish speaking countries, a small farm is called a finca. Up to Santa Marta it was hot and very dry along the coast, but just a few miles further it turns into dense jungle vegetation as the road winds through the beginning of the Sierra Mountains.

Matt’s friend Daniel and his family just recently moved back to Colombia after spending many years in Australia. They’re fixing up their farm on the coast and are going to open a campground on part of it. Just a few miles from the very popular Park Tayrona and the Lost City, this coastal region is becoming increasingly popular for tourists, both Colombian and foreigners.

IMG_2725

Daniel with one of the farm dogs

After unloading our stuff at the house we jumped back on the bikes and rode down a muddy trail to the beach. The recent rains turned this dirt road into a lake and the cattle on the road made it into a mud pit.

IMG_2386

IMG_2385

We reached a point where the bikes couldn’t go any further so we parked and walked on foot through the ankle deep warm water. Crossing a small foot bridge and walking over a sand dune, we reached the coast.

IMG_2427

IMG_2435

IMG_2429

Matt is riding from the US to Argentina with his surfboard and he was dying to get back in the water. He paddled out and the rest of us went for a swim in the fresh water lagoon. A few feet of sand separates the ocean from a pristine lagoon. Without my zoom lens I couldn’t get shots of the variety of birds in the area. Compared to the beaches of Southern California that I’m used to, this looked like a different world.

IMG_2403

Ocean on the left, fresh water lagoon on the right.

IMG_2406

IMG_2445

We were planning on leaving the next morning to ride to La Guajira and to the most northern point of South America, but we were enjoying the quiet exotic life on the farm so we stayed another day. Daniel, his sister Kathy, and their parents showed us around the area.

IMG_2450

Grilled plantain with cheese.

IMG_2448

Mango with salt. If it works with margaritas it can work like this.

IMG_2451

A typical roadside food stand in the area. A sweet fried bread, sausages, arepas, and grilled plantains.

IMG_2461

In the late afternoon, Daniel’s family wanted to show us the nearby waterfalls. We left their farm on foot and walked up a dirt trail for 20 minutes. Walking by banana farms and through thick jungle we reached a small river and walked up it.

IMG_2462

This trail of leaf cutter ants stretched further than I could see.

This trail of leaf cutter ants stretched further than I could see.

While hiking through the shallow waters I kept thinking, if the water is this shallow and slow, the waterfalls can’t be that impressive. When I first saw the waterfall I thought, ok this is nice place to jump off and swim around. But then Daniel said we need to climb further. Climbing over the first waterfall, it was an incredible sight. A series of waterfalls and pools went way up into the mountains.

IMG_2488

IMG_2489

IMG_2474

IMG_2473

After climbing up for a few minutes we reached a large pool and then hiked up the side to where Daniel said was a good point to jump off. We spent the rest of the afternoon jumping and swimming there till the sun set. Matt and Daniel attempted front and back flips. See how that turned out for them in this video.

Back on the farm Daniel’s dad told us that one of the cows had gotten loose and was lost somewhere on the neighboring farm that has been abandoned and the fields are more like a jungle. Since it’s a large farm it would be easiest to search by horse. But first the horse had to be corralled. So all of us went into the field and spread out to try and guide the horse into the smaller pen so they could saddle him up. So we’d try to close in on the horse and when it’d run, we’d try to make noises to get it to move in the direction we wanted. When a horse is in a giant field and doesn’t want to be saddled, it’s highly unlikely that 3 inexperienced guys like us are going to be any help in the process. Sure enough they got the horse on their own. With the horse ready to lead the search for the missing cow, Daniel’s dad suggested that Matt ride his motorcycle to help with the search. So off we went into the jungle like field of the neighboring farm to look for the cow. Matt soon found himself lost in the thick overgrown brush. The horse was clearly a better option. In the end, ┬áthe only thing we found were a bunch of ticks crawling on us.

IMG_2673

IMG_2670

IMG_2682

IMG_2692

IMG_2697

IMG_2712

Matt and Jose on the mighty XT

They found the cow the next morning but weren’t able to catch it. The rest of the time on the farm we helped dig a trench, ate loads of plantains, and drank fresh coconut water after cutting them down from the trees on their farm.

IMG_2657

IMG_2655

IMG_2723

IMG_2730

Daniel and his family will be working to open the camping/cabanas in the coming year. If you’re interested in a non touristy spot to camp on a cool farm, message me and I’ll get you their contact information.

Update: 11/2014
The Montoya’s have opened the farm for camping. Visit their website to contact them and make reservations!

Comments

  1. Jaime says

    so many favorites to choose from… love the leaf cutters….and the pic of the dogs and chicken is pretty great, too.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>