After a bit of small talk, a cup of coffee, and some exchange of some gifts from Grand Rapids, we took off to visit the farm. The journey to his farm is a 5-kilometer hike towering over the mountainous region of Nariño. The walk begins close to other farms in the area, with each step taking us a bit further from the tiny countryside village. Keeping up with Lucas is a chore, as he comfortably glides up the hill on this routine daily walk to his farm that sits well above the rest at 2200 meters. With each step further up the mountains, his closest neighbors become the natural habitat, as few people ever make the trek up to this area. The hike is filled with a choir of birds singing in harmony with a gentle background of the native trees dancing to the strong breeze. Colorful butterflies fill the pathway – white, orange, blue, black and yellow, butterflies of every color join as we hike alongside views of the whole region as we head higher and higher into the cool, crisp air. Small streams from a waterfall complement the landscape while nearby flowers fill the air with their aroma. We were entering a fresh, new place.
After a literal breathtaking hike at the Melo pace, we were at the top and we arrived to his farm. The top point is over 2200 meters above sea level, with Volcán Galeras being the only higher peak in sight. Lucas began showing us around and sharing his practices.