So, following on from our Medellin post, San Jeronimo! Or more precisely, Hostal la Finca in the hills above San Jeronimo!
After our Hurricane Otto experience, we needed to make new plans fast, ideally cheaply and ideally involving something relaxing. After evacuating the Panamanian coast to the ‘big city’, we found a cheap flight into Medellin and then a cheap flight into Cartagena, which would allow us to keep our original plans there. So fast and cheap done, now for the relaxing. . .
We had already been to Medellin, but had heard great things about the mountains surrounding the city – beautiful scenery and nothing to do but hike and look at it. That should cover it. . .
We had specifically heard about a place called Hostal la Finca on the travel blog http://www.meganstarr.com
Jen actually knows Megan from high school, where although she was a couple years younger than Jen, Megan still kicked her ass on the basketball court. Megan is also a professional travel blogger, so we took her word for it and booked two nights at the Finca – we were not disappointed.
Following our brief adventures in Medellin, we got there in the early evening and were greeted by the two volunteers at the hostel, Grace and Jack. Both of whom were also from London. The really friendly owner, Alexis, was dealing with insurance issues in Medellin and we didn’t meet him until late the next day. We were also greeted, by the resident dog, Cana (who liked to follow Jen around) and the two cats, which we called Milo and Milo’s mom (we were told the little one’s name, but soon forgot it). Milo took a shine to Erwan and Milo’s mom was the perfect cuddle lap cat – particularly when in a hammock. Love!
Grace and Jack gave us a quick tour – the place was gorgeous – as you can see!
It is also full of hammocks. Seriously, the land of 1000 hammocks. Pretty much every place there could be one, there was – I think we got that relaxing part covered. . .
Sadly, having booked last minute, we were not able to book the room on the second floor with the amazing deck and great views, but we still got a very comfy private room with ensuite. We also met our ‘neighbours’ – a nice young 20 something couple – and like everyone else here, from London.
After settling in, we went to enjoy a home cooked dinner in the kitchen (we prebooked a meal to be cooked for us, as we weren’t sure on when we’d arrive). And here’s where we should mention it was Thanksgiving. Jen hasn’t been in the states for Thanksgiving since 2001. Sometimes she celebrates in some fashion and other times not (it’s a working day everywhere else in the world). This year, we’ll count it as a celebration – a delicious home cooked meal, made by a local cook, in a beautiful setting, with a whole bunch of fellow Londoners – yeah, that’s a party.
The day (mostly the bus ride and tuk tuk to get to the Finca) also allowed Jen to reflect a bit on the past few weeks. We are truly blessed to be able to be taking this worldwide adventure together and although it hasn’t been ‘smooth sailing’ (pun intended), we’ve already had a really good time. Travel and adventure is one of our passions and we are truly thankful that we have opportunities to pursue them and are able to do so together.
After dinner, we stayed around drinking and chatting a bit and then Erwan went to bed (at 40, he was the old man of the group and could theoretically be the father of any of the other 4). Considering it was a holiday, Jen stayed up with the youngsters, playing cards and drinking. The age difference was apparent – they did not get several of Jen’s cultural references (truffle shuffle?), nor did she understand all of theirs. Furthermore, she did not know/enjoy some of their music, although she did do well at cards. Shortly after midnight, her age caught up with her, so she went to bed, while the kids continued their party.
The next morning, Jen woke up to a hangover, while the kids woke up and did circuit training by the pool.
Due to said hangover, Jen spent most of the morning testing out the hammocks (we like to say extreme hammocking), remembering a time when she too could drink away the night and then go for a run (or a ski race) the next morning. . .
After lunch, we went for a hike to a local ‘hidden waterfall’. The views were amazing along the way – even petit George enjoyed the hike.
However, the waterfall certainly was hidden! The path we followed led to the stream and then stopped. The written instructions we had from the hostel, simply then said “continue downstream”. With no path to follow, we did just what it said – by walking in the stream. Due to rapids, rocks, etc, it was a bit tricky at times – but oh, so much fun! Jen, particularly, loves these off-piste adventures.
We got to the top of the waterfall, but could not find safe passage down to the bottom. Erwan went ahead as a scout but came back with a few bruises – no bueno. We were tired by that point (and one of us still a little hung over), so we decided to head back, rather than (with our luck) have one of those ‘stuck in the jungle stories’.
On the way back, we stopped at the one local tienda in the area, La Fonda de Don Abraham, and had a couple of beers while enjoying a chat with the proprietor, an adorable little old man. Yea, we didn’t understand much of what he said, but he still spoke to us.
That evening, we both called it an early night after dinner (as well as a little kitty hammock cuddle) and did not join the ‘kids’ for another drinking session down by the pool. Good thing too! Even the youngsters woke up with hangovers the next day – god, knows how Jen would have been. . .
Well rested, the next morning, we went for another hike – this time shorter and less off piste. And Cana, the dog came with us!
After the hike, it was sadly time to head off and catch our flight to Cartagena. However, mission accomplished! Between the hiking, the pets, and the extreme hammocking, we were both super relaxed and ready for our next more intense adventure. And really thankful that we even get to have one. . .