Buritaca, Colombia

the jungle of the Sierra Nevada

When we were in Mundo Nuevo in Minca we met a Belgian-Colombian couple that lives in the Sierra Nevada, in a finca in the middle of the jungle and are completely off-grid: they have their own springwater, get their energy from solar and -in the future- a waterturbine, have composting toilets, grow their own veggies and fruit, have chickens running around for fresh eggs, geese, a pig, cows for milk, they make their own cheese, pasta, soap, … the whole nine yards.

In Minca, Bjorn and Monica invited us to come visit and we were so very curious so we contacted them a few days before we left to Palomino.

Unfortunately, being off-grid also means no internet or phone. They have no signal in the jungle so we got no reply … until we just got on the bus back to Santa Marta.

After a brief discussion Jos and I decided to jump off in Buritaca and do the hike to their finca cause if not now, probably never ….

We asked for directions and got a vague answer which we didn’t quite fully understood, but managed to get to the right camino and start our adventure.

Soon we’re on a natural trail through a thick jungle: crossing water creeks, passing wild horses, mules and donkeys alike (must be fun for them in the woods), and climbing steep rocks, enjoying fantastic panoramic views of mountain rivers and green valleys.

After 2 hours walking, we get to a riverbed and we’re not sure where the trail continues.

There are several options and none seems to be the right one. The boys are starting to get tired and the night animals are starting their songs… There’s a slight panic because we’re in the middle of the jungle on vague directions ,and the sun starts to set. What if we take the wrong path & get lost ? Do we really wanna be here when it’s dark with only one small headlamp ? The thought crosses our mind to go back but we decide to give it a last change. We go back to the riverbank & cross the sandy part and yes, after continuing 15 minutes, we find the path back -we hope-. Half an hour later, we get to a beautiful creek and on the other side we can see a house peeking through the trees. The watchdogs go off and run up to us, and shortly after we’re greeted by Monica & her 2 children Amélie and Gabriel.

Yes, we made it. Not even half an hour later, it’s completely dark outside, but we’re enjoying a homemade lemonade on the porch talking to Bjorn & Monica.

After a great day, I fall asleep in my tent with the creek flowing through my dreams.

With all the impressions of that day and the jungle sounds at night, I have the strangest night’s sleep: deep & intense but very vivid dreams.

The next morning, Bjorn and Monica talk about their home and their life, sharing their knowledge about Colombia, ecological and environmental issues and the future, theirs and the future of Colombia. They are open and honest and this is the way I like people. No complexity, no big ego.

We are invited to stay another night so we leave our bags and follow the creek upstream to a waterfall with natural pools while the family go about their daily work. ‘Chia’ the dog will be our guide.

The hike up is like a scene out of Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom !! Luckily without the snakes and dudes trying to rip your heart out … (or at least we didn’t see them)

We enjoy a dip in the clear water of the natural pools and the boys and me swim through a narrow cavern -walls covered with spiders- to get to the waterfall.

I feel happy. This is pure nature. With the rough and tough, itching mosquito bites, sore blisters but unforgettably beautiful, unspoiled pure nature.

This is a trip I’ll never forget.

Back at the house the boys are happy just running around collecting eggs, tasting new foods and playing Lego with Gabriel on the porch, while we just sit and talk more until the night falls.

After a frustrating night fighting the merciless jungle mosquito’s -apparently I was using my anti-repellent the wrong way- we thank Bjorn and Monica for their hospitality and are on our way back to civilization. We want to be in Buritaca before it gets too hot but at 9 am we can already feel her burn. We get good protection from the jungle but the heat is on and we need all our water not to dehydrate.

After an intens and wet 2 hour hike we’re back where we started. Twan is just in time to hold a comfortable air-conditioned bus. Yeah, this is heaven. We pay our 32 000 pesos -!!- and are on our way home. We’re tired, dirty, full of bites -nothing a nice shower can’t handle- but we are bliss.

Een gedachte over “Buritaca, Colombia”

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