Colombia, a village in the jungle Minca - Andy's Travelogues

Colombia Chapter 6

The jungle town of Minca

The second day after the luck in the wheel of fortune, I leave Santa Marta and move 650 m higher. It only takes half an hour by van. I find myself in the jungle and I have a view of the whole of Santa Marta, the sea, the forests and the mountains around. I sip hot coffee from a Cuba mug, which brings back nostalgic memories of Cuba, and  enjoy the view. Splendor. A village high in the jungle Minca is a small village, you can walk through it in half an hour. It lives on tourism here. There are plenty of hostels and Colombians offering trips to different corners of the jungle. On the way in the van, I meet Miky, a young German studying history and teaching. Mikey is exactly the type of person who looks like he’s always grumpy. He laughs all the time, talks very loudly and makes jokes about almost everything. He is most looking forward to going to a restaurant near the village where they have a great dessert…. umm…. Upon arrival, we each find our own hostel and after half an hour I meet again and we look for a place to eat in the village. Then we drink together and chat about life. We agree on the next day that we will hike to a waterfall in the jungle. After returning to my hostel, a Colombian lady from Bogota checks me out. I confide in Anabel that I would like to see a toucan live and that this is somehow the main reason why I am here. Unfortunately, he expertly informs me that a few people have seen them, but there are also those who haven’t seen a toucan here in six months. He also informs me that he is leaving tomorrow and I that it is a shame that we are going to the waterfalls. The next day, I wake up and Anabel hands me a hand-painted picture of a toucan while still having sleepy eyes. Yuck! Toucan. He also informs me that he is joining the waterfall expedition.

Pozo Azul Waterfalls

Mikey doesn’t respond to my messages, so Anabel and I go to his hostel to wake him up. There, the owner of the hostel informs us that Miky left half an hour ago. Anabel looks at me with a strange smile and I try to pretend that I was not touched at all by how Miky completely forgot about me. Me… On the way, Anabel (I guess she’s 24 years old) tells me about how she has a boyfriend from Russia who has other girlfriends besides her. She also tells me about how her previous boyfriend couldn’t understand why they should be in an open relationship. And as Anabel and I talk about life, we appear at the Pozo Azul waterfalls. These are full of crazy Colombians who jump from the top of the falls into the absolutely freezing water. Miky is here too and he and his new friend from Peru are joining us. I suppressed his explanation of why he didn’t wait for me and unfortunately I don’t remember it anymore. All is well that ends well 🙂 I announce to the newly formed group that my next goal is to visit a coffee factory. Everyone nods happily that it’s a great idea. We just have to eat first. And Miky is already spreading it and knows exactly where. For dessert, a famous place.

Asadero Camarita and dessert

On the way, Anabel starts to feel unwell and goes down to the village on a motorbike. Motorcycle taxis are the main means of transport through the mountainous jungle. They drive everywhere and take people to all corners. If you have big bags, it doesn’t matter, an accompanying motorcycle will go with you to carry the bags. Me, Miky and the Peruvian arrive at the legendary grill “restaurant” Asadero Camarita for dessert. Although it is in the middle of the jungle, you can surprisingly find this secluded restaurant on Google maps. On the menu there is a selection of slightly more expensive grilled meat, but they also have grilled sausage for only 3 thousand and I order it right away. There is also a smiling photo of the 80-year-old owner serving dessert on the dining table. We have the local beer Happy Tucan and then Happy Jaguar with our meal, both are great. One very bitter and the other with a fruity touch. And for dessert, a plate full of marijuana whizzes over to us. Mikey is beside himself with happiness and shouts in all directions: “This is what I call life!!“.
Kolumbie Minca - Happy Toucan pivo

Of course, I’m already going to the coffee factory all by myself and with a smile on my face. It’s an easy ride and only 40 minutes uphill. I meet a few horses, I catch one just for fun. No one anywhere, a motorbike taxi passes here and there. I also meet a lady who asks me how far the village of Minca is, I say an hour. She lets out a loud breath and says that she was told at the hostel that the trek around the jungle takes about 5 hours and she’s already marching 9. I wag my eyebrows like it’s happening and continue on my way.

A 40-minute walk turns into a 2-hour trek, and I discover the factory without a smile on my face. The owner is already welcoming me from afar, offering to show me the factory for 10,000. Chewing on the sweet skins of the coffee beans, I learn about the whole process of coffee processing, and mainly that high-quality coffee in Colombia is intended for export, and only second-rate quality remains in the country. That’s why you’re likely to get better tasting coffee in Europe and other countries than in Colombia itself. Which unfortunately I have to confirm.

Even the fresh coffee that I get in a cup from the owner of the factory doesn’t really bring an extra experience, but it is strong and after 2 hours of pedaling, even the 3rd cup just stings. I have a smile on my face again. I say goodbye and head back to the village. On the way, I stop for grilled sausage, this time without dessert and the last option of happy beers. Happy Coke! This beer doesn’t have any interesting flavor, but it’s definitely a head spinner. Along the way, I meet Anabel riding a motorcycle taxi uphill, followed by another boy from the hostel. I guess she didn’t like that I didn’t share her opinion on open relationships. I never saw Anabel again. I arrive at the hostel in the dark.

Even the sunsets in Minca are not to be missed, and you will simply find it hard to leave the hammock and indeed the whole of Minca.

An alcoholic toucan, a brave eagle and an apathetic cat

The next day I wake up very early and go out to the terrace to enjoy the sunrise. That doesn’t work very well in the mountainous jungle, but I still enjoy the amazing view and especially the presence of the brave little eagle that arrives at the hostel every morning to check on the new guests. This close-up photo of an eagle was taken with a cell phone.

As I say, brave eagle.

One of the following days, I’m lying in bed and the owner of the hostel bursts into the room if I want to see a toucan? Hybajhasicihovnohoří krňa, I want! For a while we watch the toucan with all the guests from the hostel as he massaged it into the bar of the hostel and peeps into the stock of bottled beer. He gets fed a banana by one of the hostel volunteers.
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A bored cat is watching from a distance, with which the toucan doesn’t even move.

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After a while, the toucan gets fed up with its 15 minutes of fame and flies away. All hostel guests return to their original activities (mainly sitting on the terrace and gazing at the views). I don’t give up and I chase the toucan with a SLR in hand. After a while I discover it and take pictures like a race.
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And also vying for attention is a young bold eagle. And instead of talking to the toucan and explaining to him whose district it is, the jealous wife attacks me and slaps me on the head with a wing in low flight.

Satisfied, happy as a flea and goofy as an eagle, I go back to my room and snuggle like a clover.

Happy END ANDy!