Go west, life is peaceful there… so is Ebéjico

Days: 213-214

Total distance travelled: 41,298 kilometres (25,650.93 miles)

A trip to Ebéjico necessitated a much sooner return to Medellin’s Terminal Norte than we’d anticipated, however it’s not everyday you have an offer to visit the farm of some Colombian friends.

By all accounts, the trip did also take us through an incredibly long tunnel (which we later discovered is the longest tunnel in South America), but it wasn’t anything that I was able to see through the back of my eyelids! Thankfully however, I did get to experience it the following day on the return journey.

One of the few stunning views I was able to enjoy during the journey (I was only conscious for the final half hour or so…)

One of the few stunning views I was able to enjoy during the journey (I was only conscious for the final half hour or so…)

Our friend Luisa had given us vague directions for our arrival in town, assuring us that all we’d need to do would be ask anybody in town, and they’d be able to point us in the right direction.

We did at least have a name, ‘Finca los Arango’ which we figured would be of help as well.

I’ll admit, the initial assurance that anybody in town would know where to send us had me wondering if they were in fact owners of the entire town… and these people were their serfs, watched over by that family in their castle high above the town.

Despite any doubts, or weird feelings we may have had, sure enough, shortly after we’d been dropped in the vicinity of Ebéjico’s main plaza, we asked for directions and we’re pointed towards the hills overlooking the town.

There was little else to do (although we could have taken a Tuk-Tuk, we preferred to save the money) but suck it up, shoulder our packs, and begin the trudge uphill.

A second query for directions, confirmed we were headed in the correct direction, so we continued our climb, admittedly with increasingly more impressive views of the town as it slowly appeared in its entirety below.

We passed several homes, none of which sported the name we sought, so onwards and upwards we continued.

Eventually we asked an old lady we spied sitting on her porch, and to our horror, when queried, she directed us back downhill!

So, down we went, all the way back to the bottom of this particular road, where we again asked for directions, and were pointed directly back uphill!

Then it began to drizzle… then it began to rain…

At the midway point of the climb, the rains got particularly heavy, so we ran up a nearby path to the nearest house for yet another set of directions.

Thankfully, they directed us to the place immediately next door, a place with big wooden gates, and a sign that most definitely did not say ‘Finca los Arango’ (in fact it was branded La Terrasita)!

Finally at our destination, we stood beneath scant shelter and rang the bell, hoping to be heard above the ever increasing roar of the rain.

Eventually, the gate shuddered as a small boy pulled it open, behind whom stood his mother, one of the staff (that’s right, they have servants here)!

Despite us arriving several hours later than intended, Luisa, Vivi (our friends) and their father still hadn’t arrived!

That however wasn’t a problem, she quickly ushered us through the gate, showed us to a room and brought us refreshments, where we dried ourselves, had a small look around before setting ourselves up on their large patio where we could read and watch the ridiculously heavy rain.

It would seem we got ourselves to the house, just in the nick of time!

With the rain heavy enough that it look almost like mist, the town was well and truly obscured, when down the bottom of the yard I spied what looked a huge bird (Emu or Ostrich like) scurry into a copse of trees.

There was little time to ponder that oddity, as about this time, our friends finally made their appearance, the third familiar faces from back home on our travels to date (after Milli in San Francisco and Sarah’s mum Julie in Cuba, although admittedly we did see Luisa & Vivi briefly the previous day).

A warming coffee and a great catch-up was the precursor to the arrival of a cousin with a small ensemble, and a delicious barbecue dinner, some beers and wine!

Fun & games with Luisa’s daughter Francesca

Fun & games with Luisa’s daughter Francesca

Lui was also able to allay my curiosity from earlier that afternoon, as there was in fact a large bird that I’d spotted, the family’s pet Peacock! After all, who doesn’t have one..?

Our delicious barbecue dinner was preceded by one other novel experience. All of a sudden, despite the sun having long set (at least by now, the rain had also long ceased), we were told it was time for a horse ride!

Thankfully the horses were both incredibly calm, and also well familiar with the area, so what could have been a hairy, death defying experience, was actually pretty fun for Sarah and I, in the company of Lui and Francesca.

With the hour getting late, and having filled our stomachs to bursting, when Lui retired to try and get her newest born, Giorgia off to sleep, we also took our leave and retired for the night (it was still pushing midnight).

Morning brought us lovely sunshine, a delicious breakfast, and also the chance to explore the grounds of this beautiful place just a little more.

The amazing Finca los Arango

The amazing Finca los Arango

Who doesn’t have a pet Peacock?

Who doesn’t have a pet Peacock?

Mid-morning was time for a local excursion out to a waterfall that Luisa and her cousin may or may not have been able to recall the way to.

Nevertheless, we all piled into car, found a rutted, bouncy track and made our way into some of the other hills around the town, a friendly local confirming we were on the right track and assisting with directions along the way.

Parking near a location where the river can be forded (and bridge did in fact stand until it was washed away several years ago), we began to trek upstream along a rock strewn shore, the occasional need to dip our feet in the water a frigid taste of what was to come.

Our intrepid posse seeking the falls

Our intrepid posse seeking the falls

It wasn’t a huge distance truth be told, the walk broken by a couple of frantic cries, each instance a time when one of Francesca’s thongs (flip-flops) had fallen off into the flowing waters, thankfully each time caught by the last person in our party before they could be washed away for good.

The final part of the process required us all to get at least our feet wet, at which point Sarah was able to finalise in her mind that she would not be immersing herself in the falls. True she had also forgotten to bring all of her bikini, although she could have easily gotten away with her underwear.

She wasn’t alone, and I too was reluctant until seeing the Arango girls enjoy it so much, I figured it was worth braving the cold for.

Daring to take the plunge in the freezing waters

Daring to take the plunge in the freezing waters

The narrow gorge in which we splashed & played

The narrow gorge in which we splashed & played

Although, with no towel, this did mean that there were a few of us required to sit in the back of the car, so as to not get the interior wet on the drive back to the house.

There, a most delicious lunch was consumed by us (Sarah & I) alone, as we’ve still not gotten used to the odd dining hours of Latin Americans and none of the others were yet ready.

We didn’t complain too much, as we were busy stuffing our faces with some delicious Frijoles, Carne de Res (Beef) & the best Chicharron (fried Pork rinds) we’ve consumed in our entire 7 months on the road!

Can’t talk, eating! Our most delicious lunch

Can’t talk, eating! Our most delicious lunch

We were fortunate to be offered a ride back to Medellin with Lui & Vivi’s cousin who had also stayed the night with his friends, which was incredibly generous, and by mid to late afternoon it was time for this return journey to begin.

We bid farewell to the girls, and ‘Finca los Arango’ and wound our way through the mountains back to Medellin, and this time I even saw the 5km long tunnel (which now removes 2-3 hours from the previous travel time to Ebéjico)

Stunning views of Ebéjico from Finca los Arango

Stunning views of Ebéjico from Finca los Arango

 

Notes:

* The 2 hour bus trip to Ebéjico sets off from Medellin’s Terminal Norte and costs $11,800 pesos per person.

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