Whether a camp recreation entails discovering the campsite surroundings or backpacking during long hours, it results in a great way to connect with nature and people who share a love for nature. Even if you stay at campgrounds with amenities, the interaction with Mother Nature can be very special. We can attest that after our experience in a hidden campsite surrounded by ravishing mountain scenery in the countryside of Puerto Rico. Besides the ecotreasure uncovered, our camp partners also made a difference that contributed for a cherishable weekend.
Our trip planning was the following: plan the basics and go with the flow. By basics, we refer to the place, the companions, the gear and the food to bring to the campsite. Though all these factors are important, the selection of the camp area and the people with who you will share your experience are fundamental for a harmonious nature encounter. To schedule our campout, we contacted the Puerto Rico Campers Association (ADAPRI by its acronym in Spanish). As soon as we talked over the phone with Carlos Javier Vega, President of ADAPRI’s Central Board of Directors, we knew we made the right choice. Then we contacted our friend Daniella Rodríguez who guided us during our discovery of Siembra Tres Vidas Farm last year. Ever since she told us about Finca Tres Vidas Campsite, we had been eager to camp at this off-the beaten-path site.
Merging ADAPRI and Finca Tres Vidas Campsite turned out to be a memorable encounter in a beautiful mountainous region in Aibonito, Puerto Rico.
Once we arrived at the top of a hill, Daniella guided us as we walked on trails to discover the campgrounds. Besides the natural surroundings, a wooden platform with a roof plays a major role in the campsite. The outdoor kitchen in the wooden platform is well equipped with a gas stove burner, tables and kitchen sink and utensils.
Daniella informed about the ecological facilities and practices implemented at Finca Tres Vidas Campsite. For instance, rainwater is stored in tanks that supply water to the kitchen and the eco-friendly shower area. Also, composting waterless toilets are available. We learned that the use of sawdust is the key to prevent bad odors and mosquitoes in such toilet area.
The tents were set up on the lower ground area. We always get excited when the tent is raised as we feel that we have conquered the place, marking the beginning of a camp adventure. The irony is that the natural surroundings were the ones that conquered us.
After socializing, the group hiked on nearby trails while climbing hills that led to astonishing views. Once the group achieved the goal to reach the top of the highest hill, a fascinating view of Aibonito and other municipalities dazzled everyone. Sites of Guayama, Salinas, Patillas and Santa Isabel may also be part of the amazing vista.
Following a two-hour hike, we all deserved to relax and rest. The group was delighted while socially drinking wine and eating crackers with a mouthwatering artisanal mango marmalade prepared by Diana. As the group shared stories and anecdotes while enjoying the ambience at the natural surroundings and the ample wooden platform, time flew by fast. The common interests that stood out among everyone were respect for and desire to connect with nature and to bond with the camp crew.
Dinner preparation entailed teamwork. Carlos Javier heated gas stove burners and a grill. Diana helped to boil pasta, and José Miguel Ferrer, an ecotreasures camper, grilled delicious beer and fresh herbs-marinated skirt steaks (“churrascos” in Spanish). The steaks were served along with pasta dressed with José Miguel’s flavorful pesto made from extra-virgin olive oil, roasted pine nuts and fresh parsley and basil, and Daniella’s tangy organic mesclun salad (mustard greens, purple spicy greens, arugula and Asian greens). We appreciate Daniella’s nice gesture to give us a tasty salad made of Siembra Tres Vidas’ harvest and organic yellow tomatoes grown in Daniella’s backyard.
After the meal, the ecotreasures adventurer kid could not wait much longer to prepare and eat dessert: heated marshmallows and s’mores. Daniella and her husband and son joined the group around a small campfire in an area previously designated by the campsite’s staff for that purpose. Besides the dinner, bonding with the children in the natural area illuminated by the very controlled campfire was a highlight of the evening get-together.
On the next day, the group kept fraternizing during breakfast time. Oatmeal, rice cereal and crackers with Diana’s mango marmalade and, of course, coffee, were the energy boost options. Hammock time was next for some of the campers. Afterwards, yummy hamburgers were grilled for lunch. Some of these hamburgers were extra special as they were topped with sautéed garlic chives picked from a garden nearby. For some of us, the mesclun salad leftovers suited perfectly on the hamburger. Farewell time was coming soon, but nature attracted us to stay and enjoy its serenity for a couple of more hours.
It is well known that good food brings people together. Add nature, good vibes, nature lovers and a go-with-the-flow attitude, and you will have the formula for a fabulous camp experience.
Camping at Finca Tres Vidas Campsite is subject to prior reservation. You may contact Finca Tres Vidas for details about the flat fee per tent per night. Tents and inflatable mattress rentals are available. E: email@example.com
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