An Emerald Story...
I was a girly girl, loved to dress up, never wore pants, and at six years old I convinced my mom to let me get my ears pierced at the mall. There was a birthstone chart to choose your earrings, my favorite color was purple but my May birth stone was Emerald green. I vividly remember being so excited and pissed off. Green was a boy color.
Rebelliously, I choose February’s purple amethyst instead emerald studs for my first earrings.
The next year, the movie “Romancing the Stone” came out, a romantic treasure hunt set in Colombia, with criminals, secret police, crocodiles and “El Corazon” an enormous heart shaped emerald.
I was swept away by the movie, fell in love with emeralds and never cheated on my birthstone again. I didn’t realize how it would shape my destiny, but I memorized every line, and wore Emeralds proudly.
What would that little girl of the 80’s say if she knew she would have her own Colombian adventure years later? “Is this the bus to Cartagena?” ...
In September of 2018, I flew to Bogota, Colombia to find emeralds before joining a Pilates retreat with Page Sieffert (Pilates Nosara). I was determined to see some green before heading to another remote part of the Country where my dear friends, Nina Arias and Ryan Gorman, were hosting Page’s retreat at their boutique resort, Gitana Del Mar, a hidden gem on the beach on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.
Upon arrival, I scoured the 500 year old capitol city for an Emerald museum. I was sidetracked by elaborate graffiti art, lost on the cobble stone streets, tempted by hot *chocolate and street musicians but somehow stumbled upon an Emerald tour, to the mines.
Lena, the lovely tour manager, made me feel incredibly comfortable about being picked up at five am by two strangers, for a five hour drive to a tiny mining village named Chivor, in the middle of no where.
She said National Geographic had been there for a few weeks and it was really safe. Umm hmm, who here hasn’t seen Narcos? My first day in South America and I’m signing up to be “The Joan Wilder”?!
I was the only one signed up for the tour that week and the cost was a little more pricey $$$ than I was expecting but when they told me I could keep all the emeralds I could find, I was in.
The hotel staff discouraged me, “Why don’t you just visit a museum” they begged. I felt pure adrenaline making the decision to go, especially after the nervous tone of my boyfriend’s voice when I told him (he knew better than to discourage me). I set off the next morning for what would be the adventure of my lifetime.
Please continue to Part two and check out my Precious emerald collection....
**Hot chocolate flows like water in Bogota, it’s a dream.