Bogotá is actually quite green for a large city, but I wanted only nature, without the city. So I rented a little house north of Colombia’s capital, which I reached on smaller and smaller roads, shared with a surprising number of cyclists, past gentle hills and meadows with cows. The last kilometer went straight uphill, like to a mountain hut.
It is situated between Tenjo and Chía, both towns 6 km away, or, as the owner said “one hour and twenty minutes on foot”. And you better don’t come home too late, for there is no light in the whole valley after 6 p.m.
Also, at an altitude of more than 2700 m, it may get cold at night.
But when I spotted the literary corner, I was excited.
And what an impressive selection awaits me in this remote cabin: Immanuel Kant, Sigmund Freud, Hermann Hesse, William Shakespeare, Jean-Paul Sartre, Robert Musil, Viktor Frankl, Mahatma Gandhi and of course the Colombian Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Most of the books are beautifully bound editions from the 1930s to the 1950s. There must have been an intellectual hiding in the mountains at that time.
There is even a comprehensive history about the Gestapo,
bookmarked between pages 368 and 369 by the ticket for a bullfight on 3 February 1968.
Somewhat more unsettling was the Spanish translation of Joseph Goebbels’ diary,
the reading of which was however already aborted on page 46, judging by the bookmark.
The bookmarks are receipts issued by Remington Rand, one of the first computer manufacturers, and dated 1955. What was going on in the Colombian mountains back then? Very mysterious.
On my desk, please note the sufficient stock of cigars on the right. When cigars cost only 0.17 dollars a piece, you don’t need to hold back.
“What about the pistol next to the computer?” you are wondering. That came with the house, too. The ammo is stored under the staircase.
But the first evening came to a peaceful end, overlooking the valley whose green colors had been intensified by recent rainfall and were glistening in the setting sun.
(I found the house through AirBnB, but it doesn’t seem to be available anymore. If you register for AirBnB via this link, you will receive a discount of 35 euros, of course not only in Colombia. – Zur deutschen Fassung.)
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Maybe this house was once occupied by a Nazi on the run. After all they were plenty of them in South America.
I was thinking of that, too, but I don’t think they would read or enjoy books by Freud or Hesse.
Actually, some of the books have the name of the erstwhile owner and it’s the same (Spanish) family name as the current owners of the house. So I hope I can find out more from them.
Actually, they were terrible hypocrites and many of them collected so-called “decadent Art” which was officially banned.
That was my first thought too.
If you can find out, I’d enjoy reading more about this person living in that cabin in the 40’s (?).
A very green view you have, beautiful.
I also became so curious, I will have to ask the family. He wrote his name into some of the books and it’s the same family name, so they must know him.
Are you sure you’re coming back to Europe next month…?
Well, I already paid a fortune for the boat, so probably yes. (If I make it to the port in time.) And after all, there are also many spots like this in Romania.
No light after 6 p.m., almost isolated but with Internet. Hope you won’t have to get rid of any spy/i-ders with that gun.
That’s the only downside indeed. I already had to kill lots of spiders and insects.
This house looks lovely.
It is. And I even have dogs and a cat.
I will try to take some.
What a totally fabulous place!
Although I shall have to re-think what my b’day gift to you will be, given the (now) ample cigar supplies. I know!!! ….duh. A book.
Have fun – please keep sharing your fascinating adventures with us! I just love avidly following them.
PS given your earlier comments about the noise in S America, I’m curious about what looks like the exact opposite: what sounds do you hear from your house?
Exotic birds chirping? A river? Wild animals? Crickets?
Dogs, horses, donkeys and cows. Surprisingly few birds. Maybe it’s too high and thus too cold for them.
But most of the time it’s perfectly quiet. Beautiful.
Looks like the perfect place for writing.
Peace and quiet, beautiful surroundings, but not many distractions.
Does it snow heavily there? I ask because of the sharp angle of the the roof apex. An amazing article as ever.
Thank you and good question!
I don’t think it ever snows here. The landlord said that sometimes the temperatures go down to zero, but that’s rare. I doubt it would be long enough for heavy snow. There are however heavy rainfalls.
Maybe the roof angle was simply inspired by mountain cabins elsewhere. Most of the houses in the valley have relatively normal or even flatter roofs, like in Southern Europe.
You discovered a real jewel!!:)
what’s that hut to the left?
Probably a secret ammunition storage.
It’s all part of a large farming estate.
Now I know what the gun is for: killing spiders.
Following you with great interest,enjoy your stories, thankful keep thrilling me with your reflections.
Thank you very much! It’s very motivating to read that.
WOW!! What a place to be… love it!!!
Looks like a perfect little home!
Gorgeous house. Inspiring.
But it was scary at night.
The interior is more beautiful and expect the cold front with the wood that’s backing it up.
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