Casa Elemento – Days 5 and 6

Saturday 18th July 2015

Woke up and admired this view from my tent that I could not get tired of.


That day I helped with lunch and dinner preparation and dishes which gave me some time to chill before breakfast and in between the two meals. It was a chilled happy day that went by easily. At some point it was pouring rain which didn´t bother Jezabel and Josh who went around happily under the rain. The thunder was nuts though. I heard it one second after the lighting, a massive boom next to us which made the walls tremble when we were in the kitchen preparing lunch. It fell less than 300 meters away.

Josh and Jezabel

As it was a bit colder, Alex and Josh had dressed Bonsy with an old shirt to keep him warm. It made him look very funny.


The view to Santa Marta was gorgeous with the rainy light in the late afternoon.


Chilled afternoon where Kendall and Martin were playing backgammon…


Rebecca and Michael were playing chess.


Other people were playing cards.


The rainy weather wrapped everything in a beautiful metallic light.


Sunset was nice again.


I proudly helped wash the potatoes, shred the chicken, chop the tomatoes of this meal which was one of the best I had there. Ryan and Morley were really amazing cook. Morley was Colombian, studying journalism and volonteering for a month only, while Ryan was from Toronto, had worked in an office before, created his own company recycling specific computer components and after 5 years had quit that and moved to Colombia where he enjoyed being a cook and where he said the number of opportunities for entrepreneurship was endless.


Big butterfly in the kitchen while doing the dishes, although Jack told me “naaa, this is a small one.”


There was an incredible mist in the evening around the kitchen area. Alex and Josh told me that in the few months they had been there, they had never seen that. It was hard to capture on a photo.

We hanged out later at the bar. Kendal lost a game of backgammon against Jean who happily made her a cocktail of her own to drink as that was the bet they had made. Cocktail contained some limoncello, tequila, salsa sauce, pepper, lime and who knows what else! It was very funny to see how Jean enjoyed preparing that cocktail. Jack and her are the owners of the place with Andrew, and they created a true Peter Pan world where adults act like children, enjoy life and at the same time, they have built a place with solid pool, bar, shower-toilets, fireplace, sofa place, brekky place, kitchen place. I can only admire seeing a couple with both a mix of childhood and seriousness, a sane balance of both that is truly at the essence of the magic of Casa Elemento, besides the fact the nature is incredible and the lack of WiFi makes people have to talk to each other and do something else than hang on their phone!


In the evening, I made the acquaintance of the “Big Lobster Bug” as Martin calls it, which had been hanging around in the bathrooms for already 2 days apparently. He was there again the next day. I had never seen such a bug!

Big Lobster Bug

The toilets were actually a perfect night-butterflies-spotting place where literally hundreds of different species gathered. Here is a funny one that blends with the wood.

wood butterfly

And a golden one.

golden butterfly

View from my tent of the hill and the lights of Santa Marta.


Sunday 19th July

In the morning, the pool was so still the clouds reflected in it.


A moth still hanging around on the bar table.


Fabio, Kendal and Martin in the kitchen while preparing the breakfast.

preparing brekky

Brekky time


Some cows came nearby up the fence. Josh said he had never seen cows come that close either. There is always some time for a first in anything I guess!


My tent and the one of Michael and Rebecca, with the misty view in the background.


I was at the night bar from 4pm to 11pm so decided to go walk to the Merinka waterfall, about a 4-5 hour hike return-trip.

Bird I saw on my way.


The big thunder of the night before had fallen on those trees, the path to Los Pinos was blocked and a bit of going above and below branches to go through this.


Next to Los Pinos, I took a path to the left instead of the main road. I encountered a dog who was growling at me, getting closer and showing his teeth with sparkling agressive eyes. I grabbed a stone from the road but he was not getting scared and keeping coming closer. I could see him jump soon and bite me. I didn’t do the rabbies shots and that freaked me out even more. Luckily a man behind him on a donkey called him and he calmed down and passed me while still growling. What the hell do you do when you encounter an aggressive dog on a path which is about to bite you?? You sing?? You talk?? You jump? You bark back?? I had not clue. I was glad the man was there at the right time. I continued my walk which turned into a tiny path on which I could not even see my feet.


I passed this man and dog and horses.


And later this house.


Closer to the fall I encountered this man, Luis Alberto was his name. When I told him my name was Anne, he started calling me Anita. Fine, I called him Luigi Albertino then. He laughed. He walked a bit with me on the same path and then turned right while I continued straight to the Merinka waterfall.

Luis Alberto

Nice landscape while getting closer.


I was a bit disappointed when I got to the Merinka fall. It was a private fall, where one had to pay 3,000 COP to enter a nature place, which I found a bit awkward. Besides that, it was Sunday and packed with people, hanging out at a terrace.


And many swimming there.


I ate my packed sandwiches while watching the fall from the top.


Then walked back with the camera in the bag as it started raining. Took my shift at the night bar. From there, I had one of the biggest laugh when I saw this tiny little white puppy chasing one of the chicken. They were both about the same size and the same speed which made this really hilarious to watch.


Two of the chicken flew to the top of the sofa and were keeping an eye on the puppy from there.


Happy times!