Current location: Bahia del Sol, El Salvador
Finally some photos from our coffee plantation tour while we were in Chiapas. Here's some of what I wrote previously:
One of my favorite parts so far has been the coffee plantation tour where were able to enjoy a beautiful and different environment. We actually had to put on sweatshirts to keep warm, a nice change of pace for us tropical residents. Visiting this place was a great reminder of how much I love being in the mountains and look forward to enjoying them again soon.
The boys and I, with a few of our friends, were picked up at the marina in a van driven by Ulysses who turned out to be the coffee plantation manager. We drove an hour and a half inland to the “finca”, the literal translation in English is “country house” (Ben was unable to go since he needed to finish his captain’s license requirement…another story in itself, requiring urine samples and drug testing).
This particular coffee plantation, Finca Hamburgo, has been owned by a German family for over 125 years and their tag line appropriately states, “A place two blocks from heaven”...or something like that (which conjured up this disturbing thought in my head, “I’m a long way from my destination if I’m headed the other way!!”). We traveled into the rainforest to about 5,000 feet in altitude and were amazed at the lushness of our surroundings.
Although Mickey and J.P. weren’t inspired by the subject of coffee growing, they found off-roading in a 4x4 truck through the rainforest quite exciting. As we passed people on the dirt roads with machetes in hand, they found it even more intriguing. They also raved about the the amazing meals we were served at the plantation’s restaurant/hotel. Chicken Parmegian in the middle of the rainforest….does it get any better than that???
I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story, but let me just clarify that the beauty and tranquility of this place was astounding. I was quite content to get off the water for a while and enjoy a different region of Mexico, a country I have grown to love.
I have to admit most of the more beautiful photos were taken by J.P. on his new Ipod Touch. The kid has some camera skills!! Enjoy!
Of course, John came along with us. Here is goofing around on the old gondolas used years ago to move the coffee down the hill.
J.P. got a great shot of a family that works on the plantation, taking a spin on their motorcycle.
Coffee plantation stray dog....too much caffeine? Poor guy!
Ulysses and John checking out the youngling coffee plants.
The plantation has a school (and a health clinic) for the children of the workers. Here they are enjoying their lunch before heading back to school.
Zach from Panache teaching J.P. and Mickey some camera skills.
John, the photographer....wait, he doesn't have any thumbs! How does he do it?
A room with a view on the plantation.
A gorgeous coffee plantation amongst the rainforest!
This is Ana.
These women sit for 8 hours a day and sort coffee beans, weeding out the bad batch. Their names are written on the back of their chairs.
John & Ulysses
This was at the shopping mall near Chiapas, Mexico where we realized gringos were still a novelty. A group of junior high girls were so excited to take pictures with the boys. Mickey was a bit overwhelmed by the attention, but was a great sport about it!
Check out the girl hugging J.P. She was in awe and couldn't stop touching him. Hopefully he doesn't grow up to think that getting girls is this easy...well, knowing him it just might be!