Another beautiful sunny day meant another perfect excursion to Choachi to explore what I missed out on last time!
After the short journey from the capital I started the day with breakfast at Bella Italia followed by a great espresso before visiting some nearby thermal pools. Despite the sulphuric smell this was an enjoyable place to relax and regenerate and relatively quiet compared to the alternative nearby thermals. This time I had more time to explore the town of Choachi, there were plenty of local shops offering pretty hand crafted goods, I’m not a souvenir person but I always prefer these types of gifts to decorate the homes of loved ones. There is something about their natural look or maybe an appreciation of the time invested in intricately painting, weaving or cooking these types of goods. Talking of food luckily it was the weekend meaning local markets lined the main plaza. Homemade arequipe (Type of toffee sauce) in a vast array of flavours, home made jams/jellies and cream liquor (coffee, piña colada etc) filled the small stands.
As usual one of my favoured pastimes in these types of towns is to sit in the square in the sun and watch the world go by, by which I mean people watch! A few photos of the typically beautiful colonial church and a shot or 3 of coffee cream liqueur and it was time for another delicious lunch at Bella Italia. I didn’t need much persuading to opt for another scrumptious pasta dish and locally brewed craft beer. The final stop to finish the day was at local farm offering stunning views and homemade organic products plus plenty of pets and wildlife spotting. I was mobbed by five furry friends as soon as I entered the farm (swiss in origin) and these adopted dogs decided to follow us on our tour of the property. Most of the buildings were built during the second world war and we got to visit the places where the natural yoghurt, jams and cheeses are made. The best part for me as usual was the tasting, the natural yoghurt was particularly tasty, it’s sometimes difficult to find these types of products around Colombia, especially at such a reasonable price. The raspberry jam complemented it perfectly and after some homemade bread I was ready for another locally produced coffee which was thankfully on hand! A close second favourite activity for me here was walking around the land looking for the numerous rare birds that find their home here and beautiful big butterflies. Learning the processes here, how only native seeds are planted and how the land is government protected as a natural reserve was fascinating. A short but steep hike led to a lookout with a phenomenal view, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!
On my way out of the farm back to the road to Bogotá I was invited to view some ancient Muisca (an indigenous race here in Colombia) rock paintings dated from before the Spanish colonisation of Colombia. This was a really interesting and unexpected diversion from my course back to Bogota and a nice ending to another great day here.
If you’d like to visit these places for yourself why not check out our new tour option here