January 17, 2022
Susan still had stomach cramps when she woke up and we both assumed it was the welcome water the day before at the lodge. It was the only water so far that we hadn’t treated with our UV bottle cap.
Breakfast was included with our stay and true to its ecolodge advertising, all the food was grown at the lodge or nearby, sustainably. Breakfast included three small glasses of different fruit juices, all said to be healthy and important for digestion in various ways. Susan couldn’t eat but I really knew something was wrong when she couldn’t even drink coffee.
So, I ate two breakfasts and we returned to our lovely cabin and hung around soaking in the jungle and reading. Susan definitely wasn’t up for the hike to another waterfall, but we both were happy just enjoying our peaceful surroundings.
Midday, Susan napped while I walked the mile into Minca to get lunch and try to find ginger ale for her. Unlike on Sunday when the small village was packed with people, almost no one was around and most stores and restaurants were closed. We later learned that Sundays are one of the busiest days in Minca because it’s a day off work for fishermen and other locals who come up from Santa Marta to enjoy the slightly cooler air, the waterfalls and the jungle.
I bought an empanada and a soda for $1.25 US from a nine-year old girl who grinned as she showed off a few English words, then I wandered back to one of the only other places that I could find open, the bakery where I got a croissant the day before. I picked up a few treats and headed back.
Susan wasn’t well enough to do much, but after sipping her soda she took a little walk around and captured some photos of our beautiful cabin area. We admired how Federico’s family had built the entire lodge by hand using local materials, sustainable practices and eco-friendly designs that blended with the jungle surroundings. Federico’s sister-in-law was, among other things, an artist who’d come to Minca from India and added beautiful artistic flourishes throughout the property.
Down a short path from our cabin were the sink area and shower room. Everything was open to the outdoors, bringing the outside in and the inside out.
There was a composting toilet room surrounded on three sides by adobe and woven palm fronds. The fourth wall was missing and looked out over the jungle, with dozens of different types of trees including huge palms.
Underneath our cabin was an inviting, rustic yoga room, open to the outdoors. Federico had told us the evening before that from 5 to 8 pm today there was going to be a small event—something about a sustainable farming lecture—at the yoga studio. He said normally he wouldn’t book events in the studio while someone was staying the cabin above, but he’d made a scheduling error. To compensate us for any inconvenience, Federico offered us a free light dinner tonight as well as a fancier dinner with wine the next evening. He also said we were invited to the seminar if it interested us and there’d be some snacks there too.
By late afternoon, the event in the yoga room was setting up and soft music played. We wandered past on our way down to the main lodge where we relaxed for awhile and enjoyed our complimentary light dinner of vegan pizza made with a unique yucca crust. Actually, I enjoyed it while Susan mostly watched me eat.
By the time we returned from dinner around sunset, about 20 people had arrived for the event. Soon after, loud thumping, chanting music played as the sun set. This definitely was not a sustainable farming lecture—apparently something was lost in translation when Federico told us about the event.
Once it was dark, the group made a bonfire outside and for a few hours people danced, swayed and chanted both in the studio and outside under the full moon, some playing bongos or flutes. It was magical and we swayed above them on our tiny balcony for a while.
We tried some of the weed we’d bought in town yesterday, which eased Susan’s stomach discomfort (or at least distracted her from it) and added to our enjoyment of the music. We considered joining the event, and almost certainly would have, but Susan wasn’t up for it and we were enjoying it from above.
Finally, around 11:00 pm the group quieted down and began leaving, and the jungle sounds returned.