As Tom mentioned in his last post, he convinced me to go and stay a few days at an organic farm a couple of hours outside of Santa Cruz. The location was beautiful and the farm's website had a clever poem promising that we could milk a cow. As I have always wanted to milk a cow, I was in! The farm was called Ginger's Paradise and while it was beautiful, there are several reasons why I would not use "Paradise" as the moniker of the farm...
Reason #1 - There was no cow
It's really hard to milk a cow when there isn't one. I wonder what laws Bolivia has against false advertising. There was however this horse, but she didn't really appreciate my attempts to milk her.
Reason #2 - Sleeping conditions
We slept on mattress on the floor and we observed a little ant highway on the rafters above us. Unfortunately there was more than one kamikaze ant who dove down to the bed below for the sole purpose of biting us in our sleep. That wasn't the worst part though. That would be trying to sleep underneath the creepy alien under-the-sea painting on the wall next to us.
I like hippies. But I can't stand a know-it-all hippie. The owner believed in his lifestyle, which is great. However, I don't think he knows how to interact with people who might not be as tuned in to his lifestyle as he is. For example, those of us who enjoy a shower now and again. The only shower was in the main house and if they owners aren't home you can't use the shower. As they went to town for the day, I had to resort to crawling through 2 windows to take a shower after our hike. Let's just say this wasn't the highlight of my trip so far. And little things like needing to charge your camera battery or computer is an insurmountable task as their "power" was run off of car batteries.
Other quoteables from the owner when dealing with us are as follows:
"You guys are MARRIED?! Like in a church and everything?!"
"How do people in San Francisco react to someone as normal as you are?"
Reason #4 - There were only two meals a day
See reason #3 above for my take on the owner. One thing he believed in was to not eat late at night. So they only served two meals a day - one at 9 in the morning and one at 2 in the afternoon. Other than that you were a bit out of luck if you were hungry. I am not convinced this is a healthier lifestyle given the fact that you stuff yourselves at each meal knowing you wouldn't be eating for a while. Although we certainly didn't go hungry, we did get a little peckish at night. As least the food was good.
Reason #5 - We had to use an outhouse
I don't think I need to explain this one. Here are some pictures of said outhouse:
Although this post is full of complaints, of course it wasn't all bad. Sol, the owner's partner, made Tom vegetarian spaghetti on his birthday. Also, Tom got to lose at chess against the owner every night (although for me I must say it's quite boring to watch!). And we went on a hike with some beautiful scenery:
It was not with a heavy heart on my end that we packed up and left. I couldn't wait to get the heck outta there. However, there was one more obstacle in our path before leaving. Crossing the exceedingly scary footbridge to the main road. We have been on some scary bridges on our trip, but this one takes the cake. Check out the missing boards in the picture below: