Pool parties, fruit loops and cabalgatas

7th July

 

My second weekend in Colombia was another cultural experience, to say the least.

I was invited to stay with Julian’s (to re-cap, he is a childhood friend of the girl I am living with, who also lives in the house) family at their farm near Santagueda Valley for the weekend. So Saturday afternoon we drove down and were greeted by a big celebration which I would learn was a party for Julian’s cousin’s graduation from university.

The whole family was there, I’d guess almost 40 people, from the youngest baby to the oldest grandmother. And boy, was it a party.

The music was on high and everyone, I mean everyone, danced till 3 or 4 in the morning. I wish that in England we danced the way that Colombians dance. They dance with their whole soul, every fibre of their being is in the music. They dance with such skill, natural grace, and charisma. I was mesmerised watching family members salsa dance and move to other styles I don’t know the names of. I couldn’t help but join in, even if I didn’t have their flair or coordination.

 

Sunday morning was spent relaxing (and for many, recovering) by the pool, and then in the afternoon, we drove over to a farm owned by other members of the family for some horse riding.

What I didn’t know was that this was no ordinary horse ride, it was a Cabalgata, which I can only describe as a party on hooves. One of the family members had a saddle bag with a built in speaker that blared reggaeton, and all of the saddles had a slot between your legs where you could put your beer, like drink holders in a car.

 

We rode along dirt roads through the beautiful valley as the afternoon waned and the sun began to set, though we did as much standing as we did riding. We would ride for about 20 minutes and then stop for 10-15 and everyone would drink and talk and sing, before riding again. There were about 20 of us riding in total. We left the farm at 4, and we didn’t return until it was dark hours later. I could barely walk at the end, was one of the strangest and most entertaining experiences (and weekends) I’ve ever had.

Would love to hear about your strangest/funniest travel experiences?

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