Hello from Minca, Colombia. I have just spent six days high above the town of Minca on a mountain, in the jungle. I arrived full of hope that this was the destination where I would spend several weeks teaching yoga, learning Spanish, and enjoying outdoor activities. Read on to see how the plan unfolded…
I arrived at the Santa Marta airport late on a rainy afternoon and took a taxi about one hour south to the small town of Minca. Here I met a driver to take me up the mountain in a burly 4×4 to my new home. Soon, we stopped and picked up two other guests who were stranded in the rain. The road up was no joke, as the rain has been abundant over the past couple of weeks. It was very muddy, and much of it has washed away, making it quite a challenge to pass.
When I arrived at Mundo Nuevo eco-lodge/hostel, I was warmly greeted by the staff and the sweet cats and dogs, with a glass of fresh juice. My first impression was good, as the main open-air lodge was clean and cozy with several guests hanging around reading, playing pool, and relaxing in hammocks and on the large couches that border one side. I was thankful for escaping the busy city of Medellin and looking forward to some quiet relaxation. I was shown to my room which was small, but cozy with an open-air wall facing the mountains. The shower, toilet, and sink were placed along this wall, allowing me to look out to the jungle towards the big avocados hanging on the tree just outside. Pretty cool digs!
At dinner, I was reunited with Jen and Julia, my awesome new friends from Germany, who sent me a message telling me about this spot and that the yoga teacher had just left, and they were in search of a new instructor. It was so nice to see familiar, smiling faces, even though this was their last night before moving on to their next destination.
When I awoke the next day, I had breakfast with Jen and Julia, and headed out for some hiking before the rain came. I went down to the Wiwa indigenous village just below the lodge. It is a quaint village with only four huts of nomadic families. When I passed through it was quiet, but on my way back, the cutest little boy came out to greet me and show me his dog and all of the plants. He was so sweet, and we communicated by pointing and laughing.
Still wanting more exercise, I passed back through the lodge and headed up the top of the mountain to the 360° viewpoint. The clouds had already come in, so I could not see any views, but it was very quiet, relaxing, and mystical. When I reached the top, I took off my shoes, and literally had my head in the clouds and my feet grounded on the tiny spot of earth on what felt like the top of the world. It was amazing! As I strapped my shoes back on, and turned to head down, the clouds burst and the rain poured down. I put on my raincoat, and enjoyed the slippery, muddy walk down.
At lunch, I met a few of the other guests, and found they were really wanting yoga. Although the manager I had emailed about the position had not arrived back at the lodge, I agreed to hold a small class if they wanted to join. The next morning, at 6:00 AM, we had a small class on the punta (viewpoint). Following the class, many others had seen us and asked about joining. I agreed to host again the next day, this time with six students. Many of them left the following day, but new travelers arrived, and I had five more students the following day. Hopefully tomorrow will bring more new faces! What a beautiful first experience teaching abroad.
Last night, I was treated to my first sunset on the punta, as the rain cleared just in time to give us all a beautiful evening. I met more new friends and learned about their journeys. The break from the rain was welcomed by everyone with big smiles and laughter! We were even able to see the Caribbean Sea!
After dinner, I went to my room to relax and prepare my class for the next day, when suddenly, my door flung open (It is too tight to close all the way, and cannot be locked from the inside…) as one of the new travelers was confused. He quickly said sorry, and slammed the door. About an hour later, I trapped a huge moth in a bag and wanted to set it free outside. When I went to open the door, I found he had latched my door on the outside, and I was stuck inside. I knocked and tried to call for someone to help, but nobody was around. Finally, I got one small bar of service and was able to get a message out to my friend Anette. I didn’t know if she would receive it, so I also called out the screen to the new couple in the room next door. Finally, I got an answer, and both the guy from next door and Annette showed up to rescue me. Luckily the moth allowed me to trap him, as it would have been quite the surprise in the morning if I couldn’t have escaped for my yoga class!
Today, I met with Valerie, the Owner, and was offered a position for free room and board. Although excited about the opportunity, I decided to decline. The constant rain from about 10:00 or 11:00 AM every day, and the 45-minute walk to the small town down the muddy road had really started to wear on my mind and my mood. I must move on in search of sun and community.
I am grateful for the new friends I have made and the fun times we had here. Three of us did get out yesterday for a morning horseback ride after yoga (to celebrate Anette’s b-day!) that was nice before the rain came. However, once again, it poured as we hiked back up the mountain, and soaked us to the core…..a good time to have some laundry done, pack up, and move on tomorrow! Next stop, Cartagena on the Caribbean coast.
Until next time, peace, love, and hugs!