*We hosted our first official guests at Su Casa Colombia this past week: Haileigh, Ashley, Joanna and Colleen. All four live in or around beautiful San Francisco, making them the San FranTastic Four. These are their adventures.
After spending four days in Medellín it was time for a change of scenery and to introduce the ladies to an integral part of the Colombian culture: the finca! Literally translated, finca means farm or ranch but could just as easily mean paradise. Most middle to upper class families in Medellín have a modest apartment or home in the city and a finca in the countryside where they retreat on the weekends. Paisas, as the people in and around Medellín are called, are hard workers and really earn their down time.
Before we could go to the finca we had to pick up food and supplies from the market, which is part of the experience and fun of going to the finca. We always look forward to going to the Mayorista, which is like a farmers market on steroids and HGH. Food stall after food stall offers both exotic and familiar fruits alike at astoundingly low prices. Every time we go we have to eat a fresh, mouthwatering arepa de chocolo with cheese, which is like very moist cornbread in the shape of a pancake. Or for the El Torito fans out there, that little scoop of sweet corn cake that comes on every plate. Yum!
Now, with five gringas and one tall gringo in the middle of a Medellín market, you’re bound to turn a few heads; seeing tourists in the city in uncommon, seeing tourists at the Mayorista is unheard of. Many of the workers were fascinated by us, but treated us with the utmost respect and kindness that we’ve come to expect from Paisas. It wasn’t long before the vendors were giving us free fruits and posing for pictures with us. So this is what it feels like to be a C-list celebrity!
With our shopping complete, we loaded up the van and began our 2.5 hour drive through the country with our wonderful driver, Juan. I took this opportunity to educate the San FranTastics on one of my favorite Colombian musicians, Carlos Vives, and they really enjoyed his music. So now I’ll take this opportunity to educate you too, so click the link to enjoy some of my favorite Carlos Vives songs.
Although we’d tried to warn the girls of the awesomeness of our family’s finca, all of the hype didn’t seem to prepare them for their new surroundings. As Haileigh described it, we were in a “Jurassic Park meets Avatar” world. We gave them a tour of the property, introduced them to the horses and cantankerous parrots, and then we headed down to the lake to cool off with a quick dip and some Aquardiente.
That evening we busted out the exotic fruits we had purchased at the Mayorista and I led the group through a fruit tasting. We began with the tart yet tasty Uchuvas, a small orange fruit. Second was Coruba, which also goes by the name of passion fruit in other parts of the world. Third on the menu was the deliciously sweet Pitaya which is bright yellow and prickly on the outside, and clear with black seeds on the inside. We ended the tasting with Zapote based solely on the necessity of floss immediately after eating its pumpkin-orange flesh. A cross between the flavor of a cantaloupe and pumpkin, plus the texture of a ripe mango, it was by far the oddest fruit of the night. We followed the fruit with a delicious soup by Mari, the very talented and very sweet cook/maid. Everyone raved about the soup and there wasn’t one unhappy stomach in the bunch.
For reasons I still can’t figure out, our night ended on a bizarre yet delightful note. While drinking wine under the stars in colorful ponchos, we spontaneously decided that our attire deserved a photo shoot, so click on the picture below to see the craziness we got into. Who knew a poncho could inspire such fun?
With a day full of hiking, waterfall rappelling and horseback riding the next day we called it an early night so we’d have enough energy to get through it all. Come back on Monday to read about those adventures and more!