Nitzan and Silvia (our hosts) are one of a kind. If there is one thing to be said about our last two weeks in Villa de Leyva, it’s that we have become apart of a family. Nitzan and Silvia have welcomed us with positive energy and a space to share.
Nitzan greeted us in the morning with coffee, fresh cut fruit, and a plan to make shakshouka. Taylor chopped veggies and prepared the table while I made arepas with Juan Sol. I placed the small dough balls on the masher and with all his force he turned them into tortilla like corn cakes.
We all chowed on the typical Israeli dish, laughed over the ridiculousness of the plump puppies roaming at our feet, and reared with excitement about the day ahead.
We all piled into the car. Juan Sol on my lap, Lia standing head out the window, Nitzan and Silvia singing to the tunes. We wound through the hills, the valleys, and eventually onto the ridge that you can see from their backyard.
The car came to a stop and we arrived at a waterfall the family had been to once before and had been searching for ever since. The roads are dirt and all look the same so you can imagine why it would be difficult to retrace your path.
From the moment we stepped out of the car we could hear the water roar. Along the ridge, the layers of rocks bowled around a 200ft waterfall named Cascada del Hayal. The grass was green and the path was steep. The kids went running. Every turn offered a new view. Looking up the canyon were green fields, puffy clouds, and cows.
Our decent brought us deep into the canyon, almost cave like. The waterfall above us poured water. A small pool at the bottom led into a small river. We parked ourselves on the large rocks and explored the area. Standing behind the waterfall was epic. Watching gallons of water pour over the edge of a cliff is powerful. Soaking ourselves with mist was refreshing and chilling, the sun didn’t reach the depths of the pool.
After getting our fill of cool water and stunning views we made our way back up the trail. The kids were champs racing each other to the top. Piling back in the car, kids tired, adults energized, we sang and gasped at the views. Stopping nearly every 5 minutes to get out of the car and take in our surroundings.
We arrived at the next waterfall, Cascada Honda, and Juan Sol was passed out, Lia tired and wanting to stay behind. Taylor and I traded off staying in the car with the kids so Nitzan and Silvia could enjoy a little peace and quiet.
Hungry and tired we all took part in cooking a late lunch while sipping cold beers. We sat in the backyard enjoying the sunset and the adorable puppies. Nitzan and Silvia jumped at our offer to babysit the kids and headed out for a date night.
With the kids we made banana bread, built forts, sat by the fire and read books, and of course Juan Sol’s favorite game, chase. It was one of those days while traveling that you think to yourself several times “is this really happening?”. As we zombie walked to our cabana we discussed how a day so perfect, such as this, could feel so normal. It’s a testament to living in the moment with Nitzan, Silvia, and the kids. We can’t thank them enough for our time together.