January 10, 2014
What an amazing morning horseback riding! Probably the best riding we have done…ever. The horses loved to gallop (so fun!) but were also well trained so we could slow them down when needed. It was a gorgeous four hour excursion to more out of the way burial sites and Chaquira, a magical place where the Rio Magdalena separates the Cordillera Oriental from the Cordillera Central (The Andes Mountains begin in Colombia as three separate mountain chains, the Western, Eastern and Central ranges. At Chaquira, the Magdalena River separates the Eastern mountain range from the Central mountain range.) Chaquira is astoundingly beautiful with magnificent energy. The kind of place where you can sit for hours marveling at the beauty of creation and pondering the miracle of life. Unfortunately, with two kids in tow, I only had five minutes to ponder life’s magic.
We spent the afternoon just relaxing at our hostel, La Casa de Francois. This is exactly the kind of place I love when traveling – quirky cabins, clean and full of art and creative atmosphere, hammocks to lounge around in, gorgeous green gardens and terrific views over the surrounding countryside and great food that appeals to travelers’ palates. Francois is Belgian and his wife is Colombian and their menu reflects this. Abit of standard Colombian fair with European delicacies to choose from – delicious sweet and savory crepes, fantastic breakfasts, strong coffee (despite being a major coffee producer, Colombians like their coffee watery and weak), and really chocolaty brownies (despite being a cocoa growing region, Colombian chocolate confections tend to look good but not taste anything like chocolate). I highly recommend La Casa de Francois whether traveling with or without children. It’s fantastic and half the price of Hostal Hyuko-Yo. I also highly recommend letting Francois arrange a horseback riding excursion. The horseback riding guy he knows is truly an excellent guide with wonderfully trained horses, as I already mentioned.
Although it was tempting to go to dinner at Tierra del Fuego for the third night in a row, we opted to try something different and went to Ristorante Italiano. As the name implies, this is an Italian restaurant with a small but very tasty pasta menu. Another delicious dinner in San Agustin!