Horse Back Riding and Coffee Farms

Trip Start Sep 15, 2008
Trip End Jan 01, 2009

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Flag of Colombia  ,
Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Woke up and asked the hostel to call the local Cowboy to come with three horses. About 15 minutes later all you could hear were feet galloping down the dirt road towards our hostel. Arik, Charis & Tanya walked out to see three beautiful looking horses. He helped us on and off we went trotting down a dirt road. The horses are very well behaved for the most part. We rode for about 1.5 hours through pastures, rivers, and finally up to a waterfall. It was beautiful but the water was extremely cold. The Cowboy put Charis & Tanya on his back to wade through the river to the waterfall but Arik refused and walked through in his bare feet. We hiked up to a waterfall where Arik decided to go swimming but Chrais & Tanya thought it was to cold. After hanging out at the waterfall, we went back to the horses and starting riding back for an additional 2 hours again through tunnels, rivers, and beautiful green pastures.  On the way back Arik´s horse decided he wanted to see how tough Arik was and started bucking, Charis and the Cowboy thought this was quite funny and Arik did well by staying on the horse. It was a beautiful long ride and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

After a quick lunch of the local speciality - trout, rice, beans and deep fried who knows what we headed to a coffee farm for a tour.

The coffee farm just started 3 months ago so it is in the very beginning stages but it was a very interesting tour. They not only grow coffee but also pineapple, oranges, 2 types of plantane, bananas, limes, lemons and herbs. We all tried a coffee bean right off the plant and it is pretty sweet. He showed us how to pick the coffee beans off of the plant - they usually grow in clumps of 30 and it is very easy to pull them off. They then carry them to the grinder and this is how they get rid of the poisionous skin. They dump the beans in and grind off the outer layer (which is a bright red) and  the beans drop into a big bin of water, where they soak for 3 days. The grinding is quite difficult because they have to do it all by hand. After they have been ground and soaked they move the beans on to the roof to dry out for an additional three days. During this drying process another 2 layers come off of the bean so that it looks somewhat like a coffee bean. They then cook the bean in hot ovens for 6 hours and you have your final product. So it was very interesting to see all the different stages and then sample a cup of the coffee - which was very very strong.

We then headed back up to the hostel for an easy relaxing night in.
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