I was happy to sleep in this morning, and by that I mean I got up at 7:30am, made a coffee and read on the terrace. I skipped breakfast to save room for cake at the Coffee Farm later, but had a few bites of Ryan’s delicious fruit oatmeal. We quickly packed (sadly we are leaving the hostel today) and then walked down to La Victoria Finca, a coffee farm affiliated with the hostel.
The hike was steep and hot, but we got there in about 15 minutes. I had banana bread with chocolate sauce and Ryan had coffee cake as we sipped their coffee. Next, we took a 45 minute tour of the farm. Although I’ve toured several coffee farms by now, they each have something different to offer. I liked this one because it was pretty big, and while it was old, it was running smoothly because it was built with quality.
Our tour guide, Jasmine from Germany, was working on the farm to eventually earn a piece of the land in which she planned to build an eco house. She told us how the farm was established about 100 years ago by German engineers who were in town to build a railroad, but then saw opportunity in improving to coffee farming with their engineering knowledge. The farm used water as a source of power for electricity and for gravitational movement of the beans.I saw a lot more steps on this tour than on previous ones, including the part where they use worms to decompose the old shells and use them for fertilizer. They have seasonal workers, about 70, some of which have worked there for 30 years.
After the tour, we hiked back up the hill through the garden and snuck in one last shower before we had to check out. We were very sweaty, especially Ryan because he had started wearing long pants and sleeves to avoid bug bites. At this point Ryan’s legs were covered with black fly bites and he looked like he had chicken pocks. For some reason, they were avoiding me! I had a few mosquito bites that itched, but nothing looked as bad as the black fly bites! Google pictures if you so dare!
Our jeep back down to Minca village wouldn’t come until 2:30pm, so at 12:30pm we took motorbikes to Casa Elemento, the highest hostel in the area and one with an amazing viewpoint (and pool). At first the ride up was a bit scary, especially because we didn’t have helmets, but eventually I relaxed when I realized my driver knew what he was doing and was driving fairly slow (this was not a repeat of the boat ride from hell).
In about 30 minutes we made it up and enjoyed lounging on the large hammock. We met two guys from England and a girl from New York and did a quick photoshoot, a very popular activity there thanks to Instagram.
We each grabbed our ‘free beer with entrance’ from the bar and then walked to another hammock that was in the jungle. This one was above a river so was very peaceful–I wished we weren’t crunched for time. As we were laying on this hammock Ryan mentioned the reason he liked travelling this way (I’ll call it my way) is because of the people we meet along the way. I knew he was going to say exactly that before it came out, and it made me so happy because that is also why I love it. That, and the unique, unpredictable experiences which you wouldn’t necessarily get back home or travelling in a more “upscale” way.
We took the motorbikes back down, then hopped into a jeep with the Irish couple, David and Chloe, the Dublin gals Orna and Fransica. Wilmar, our driver, dropped us off in Minca where we said our goodbyes.
I was aware that our hostel was near a church and then about an 8 minute walk up steps to get there. However, an 8 minute walk up steps with a 40lb bag on your back and a 10 lb bag on your front, in the heat and up steep steps turns more into a 25 minute hike. We hadn’t had lunch yet, so that factor made it even harder. I’m not even being dramatic. It. was. hard.
We were greeted with a glass of water which was exactly what I needed. As I took a sip, the receptionist said it was vodka. While he was kidding, I probably wouldn’t have minded. We were shown to our room which is literally a treehouse hut with a bed inside. It doesn’t have doors but it does have mosquito netting, a curtain and a wooden lock box. After putting our things away, we both went to take showers. I soon discovered that there was no hot water. I have to admit, I haven’t taken a cold water shower in probably 15 years, but I grew used to it pretty quickly. Both of us were super hungry and needed some WiFi so we went into town and shared a hummus platter while spending an hour or so on the internet.
Upon coming back and sitting in a porch swing and drinking a Caprioski and petting the aggressive cat that wouldn’t leave Ryan alone, it crossed my mind to book the rental car we needed for tomorrow. I didn’t anticipate needing to reserve one, but thought it would make it easier tomorrow. Well, good thing we did because apparently, they were sold out everywhere. After much stress and fussing around we finally were able to reserve an automatic transmission through Localiza. The prices were steeper than expected, but I was just glad to have secured one. I just hoped they actually honored the reservation tomorrow. The other option was to fly but it would have taken 2 hours longer and we would have missed some of the fun stops along the way.
We ate at the communal dinner, but sadly didn’t talk to many since I was on my phone booking the car. The guy clearing the plates took mine away pre-maturely, I weirdly felt like crying, but it was just the stress of the car situation. Finally, it was time for bed which I was excited about because of our unique room. It turned out that the hut was pretty cozy, although it was a little too hot at first, it cooled down later. Waking up to the sun peeking into the hut was something I’ll never forget.