Jerico, Colombia

Jerico, authentic Colombian life

After a relaxed weekend in Sopétran, we drive south to the village of Jerico. And we have no regrets of hiring a car because just driving through this scenery is breathtaking. We love the independence of having our own car so we can travel at our own pace, stop when we’re hungry, take the scenic road when we feel like it. It’s a bit of an adventure and the car we hired wasn’t always fit for the roads we had to take but we -and the car- made it in one piece.

Colombia is very divers and in a couple of hours we drive through thick forest with roadsigns that warn us for crossing animals -monkeys, tigrillos, iguana’s, ant-eaters, …-, green mountains that remind us of the Alps… but with palmtrees, high pyramide mountains, coffee-planted hill sides, meadows with cows and horses,… we’ve seen it all in abundance.

In the early evening after a huge but delightful detour, we arrive in Jerico at our    home for the coming days : a place called cabanas y flores.

We have our own little cabana with an amazing view over the mountains on one side and Jerico on the other. The owner is super friendly and loves to chat with us in the morning over a healthy home-made breakfast with typical Colombian tinto -bad coffee-. We later learn on one of the coffee plantations that all the good beans are exported to America or Europe and that all the second choice beans stay in Colombia for the tinto. Opposed to what you might think, there’s no coffee culture here ! It’s slowly starting to change though and you see hip coffee bars popping up all over, but it’s still hard to get a descent coffee in the hotels, bars and restaurants. Tinto however is available everywhere, even on most streetcorners. It is a very weak brew of coffee mixed with way too much sugar. Jos says it reminds him of the kind of “coffee” served in hospitals in Belgium, the kind of lukewarm brownish liquid people drink all day long…

Jerico is a typical mountain village with a big church and the main square where everyone sits outside talking and drinking … tinto. The caballeros are walking in town on or next to their horses, and kids are running around. There’s such a laid-back atmosphere.

The houses have wooden balconies and are painted in the most amazing bright colors all set in a mountain background.

Antonio & Gustavo are quick to make friends while we sit and chat.

Twan has been crazy about horses for a while so we decide to surprise him the next day to go horse riding and in the morning, after breakfast we hear the clicking of horseshoes on the pavement. Twan can’t believe his eyes and is in heaven ! No backseat driving, each his own !

The horses are very tame but nothing can spoil the fun and we walk around the town, up the hillside like true caballeros while the old ladies wave at our two boys from behind their windows.

I absolutely adore Jerico. It’s beautiful to visit and has remained the same for many years, of course there is tourism but in the first place, there is authentic life ! It’s Colombia at it’s best: genuine & welcoming.

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