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Published: February 25th 2011
Six days in the mountains (Santa Elena and Monteverde). Now we're back at the beach and happy as clams...but we did have an interesting tour of an organic coffee plantation that we would like to share. There are quite a few coffee plantation tours apparently (most brand name..for their..coffee) but the owner of our Santa Elena B&B place suggested we visit an organic coffee farm where he said we would have a more personal experience and learn about how they did coffee. We were picked up at the Rustic Ranch motel about 8 am by a driver that didn't speak English but down the hill in the town of Santa Elana we picked up Jesus who was our interpreter for the tour. That morning the storm clouds seemed to be overhead and it looked like we would get a downpour. Jesus said, no worry, we would be traveling down the mountain and it would probably be clear down there. He was right. It took about 30 minutes (on the usual really bad roads) to get down to the coffee plantation where it was bright and sunny. Going down we stopped at a lookout where off in the distance and down the
hill much farther we could see the water where we take a ferry across to the Nicoya peninsula where we are right now. It looked so near but traveling down (and around) it was a long way to get there.
We arrived at the coffee plantation. When you think about plantation you think about lots of acres and land. I really don't know how much land they had but it didn't seem to be that big of a place. Victor owns and operates the place. He showed us us around the farm and told us (in Spanish) about the different coffee beans and the process of selecting the beans. Jesus translated for us. It was just Jim and I so that made the tour very nice and we could ask lots of questions and felt like we were getting a good tour. I took pictures and will try and explain what I learned.
After 6 days in Monteverde, we were ready to drive back down the mountain and get back to the beach that we knew would be warm and sunny! Weather in the mountains was chilly enough that we wore jackets in the morning and was warm
enough to wear T-shirts in the afternoon. We wore jeans everyday (rather than shorts at the beach). The wind never stopped blowing there.
We expected to catch the 11:00 ferry so we made sure we left early enough to be in line to get on but when we arrived, there weren't many cars and no ferry waiting. There are 2 ferrys--Tabor I and Tabor II. Number I is the smaller ferry that only takes about 35 cars, II takes about 165 cars. We found out that I is out of commission and that we needed to wait until 1:00 for II to take us across. We got our car in line and then found a place that had tables and cervesa (beer). This was a fine place to kill the next couple of hours. We arrived into Mal Pais/Santa Teresa, our destination, about 4:00 and decided to find a place to have dinner since we hadn't eaten since breakfast. We found a bar that was on the beach and had pizza (it was happy hour -- 2 for 1 drinks!!).
We're now in our beach villa. Yesterday, we walked down the beach at low tide and found a
tital pool where we could snorkel and see some fish that got trapped in the pool. Nice little very blue fish, some yellow with black stripes, and other kinds swimming around. I tried to take pictures of them with my camera wrapped in a waterproof case. The case worked fine but I missed most of the fish I tried to take a picture of -- I'll keep trying.
Tomorrow at noon we're going to take a quad tour -- that's a four wheel ATV -- up the coast. I'll sit behind Jim and take pictures and let you know in the next chapter.
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