On weekends and holidays, the city folk in Medellin like to escape to the countryside. I’d been hearing about foreigners visiting fincas (country houses) from time to time, and was hoping I’d have the opportunity to experience this aspect of Colombian culture as well before heading home in a few weeks.
I met Andrea through Couchsurfing last week when we went out salsa dancing. She brought two friends, one of whom was Lina. A Brazilian couchsurfer named Airton and a Colombian couchsurfer named Cristian also joined us, along with a few others. We danced, we stayed out late, we had fun together. I invited them to the party I was throwing at my apartment. The day after my party, I received my long-awaited finca invitation!
Lina, Andrea, Airton, and Cristian picked me up quite late. First, I’ve learned to really appreciate a normal car ride after having to depend on public transportation and walking for so long. Then, the hunt was on for our dinner. We drove across town to Las Palmas where we stopped at a 24-hour grocery store. The girls and Airton picked out much of the food, including a bottle of vodka. I had brought some leftover rum and wine from my party.
We then drove about 30-40 minutes north out of Medellin, past the terminus of the metro line in Niquia, and into new territory. The late hour meant little traffic, and we were soon passing the town of Copacabana, after which we reached Lina’s finca. Her mom had recently moved there, but was in Cartagena at the time. We got out of the car at the foot of a VERY steeply graded driveway, and hiked up it with the groceries.
Atop the hill, we found a cute house with a view across the highway and valley. It was midnight, and I was already anticipating the morning view. Cristian took the lead on turning our lumps of charcoal into a red-hot foundation for barbequing a big chunk of meat, chicken drumsticks, corn on the cob, and arepas. Airton and the girls took the lead on food prep and cooking, while I supervised (j/k). We opened a bottle of chilled white wine and Airton, being the resident Brazilian, mixed up some caipirinihas too.
Around 2 am, we finally sat down for dinner, and it was a great one at that. I’m not normally a fan of steaks, but the meat was tender and delicious. We enjoyed some rice and boiled potatoes as well. There is a sauce down here which is a combination of mayonnaise and mustard, which is a perfect dip for chips and the little potatoes.
After dinner, I was helping to wash the dishes when Lina suggested I come out and have fun instead. She took out some musical items – handheld rattles, a metal cylinder which you play by scraping a special metal fork against, and a plastic jug for drumming. I would venture to guess we made some sweet, sweet music that night.
I was reminded of a salsa combination I learned the prior week called “the sombrero” but I couldn’t remember it when I tried to show Andrea. This was my fear – doing well with the moves in class and then forgetting them once I was on my own! But having learned them once should make it easier to learn them again in the future.
To be continued…