We woke up early to take the 5 hour or so bus ride to Pereira. The bus was big and comfortable and we made a couple stops to eat along the way so the time passed surprisingly fast.
After we pulled into the Pereira bus terminal we were met by Renzo’s friend Laura, a local film student who had agreed to help us out on our shoots while we were in town. We were glad for the help and she was glad to get some real world experience in her field.
After checking into the hotel in the central part of town, we rushed out to the rental car agency because Pereira was really just our home base and most of our shoots were an hour or so outside of town.
After renting a decent sized vehicle we headed over to the Villa Martha Coffee Finca (ranch). The drive was absolutely stunning as we climbed the mountainous terrain and the weather thankfully held out. We arrived late afternoon, a perfect time for shooting.
Javier, the owner of Villa Martha met us and, appropriately enough, offered us some of his home grown, organic coffee. I found out later that almost all of the best Colombian coffee is exported to places like the U.S. and Europe, with the worst quality held back for sale in Colombia locally. Not so with Javier’s coffee, it was extremely fresh, just picked and processed days before and I can honestly say was the best coffee I think I’ve ever tasted (and trust me, I’ve drank a lot of coffee over the years) .
Javier doesn’t speak much English, but I instantly liked him and we built a good rapport as we shot a few on-air segments with Renzo shooting camera, and simultaneously translating my English questions to Spanish for Javier and Javier’s answers to English for me. Not an easy job even without the worries of shooting camera!
The Villa Martha Coffee finca (farm) is relatively small and the sole purpose is tourism. The coffee it grows is sold exclusively to tourists and those who come to the finca specifically to buy the coffee. The accommodations are rustic but beautiful and run around $30-$50 US Dollars per night, depending on the season. There is also a nice pool out back, tiny hummingbirds and colorful butterflies all over the place. All in all, it looks like a very relaxing and tranquil place to vacation and I was bummed we weren’t going to be spending the night.
We met one young European guest who was in the middle of an epic motorcycle journey from Alaska to the tip of Argentina! He had some great stories to tell but since he’s hoping to write a book about them someday I won’t steal his thunder.
We wrapped up the shoot and headed back to Pereira just as it was getting dark. I felt really good about the shoot today. I sure hope tomorrow that the Termales (Thermal Spas) will offer more of the same.