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Published: June 26th 2017
Geo: 12.93, -85.93
Time Check: 1752hrs.....we are perched high in the mountains close to Mataglapa some 200km due west of the Pacific Ocean. Darkness is gathering and the sounds of the night are gathering pace producing a cacophony of chirruping from tropical "mini-beasts" out to strut their stuff.
We are staying in an coffee plantation that has several well equipped and comfortable bungalows each resplendent with an "Eco roof" consisting of manicured tree ferns and other jungle vegetation. Hot water is solar powered and we are advised to think "GREEN" by switching off power at all opportunities....
Earlier in the day Elvis and our chirpy driver "Alvin" picked us up at 0900hrs.....they are great and are worked "to the bone".....airport pickups at 0400hrs........after 2hrs sleep.......demanding clientele from Miami who want cooked breakfasts at 0600hrs........we are easy going in comparison...
Today has been an education in the production of Nicaraguan Cigars........ So much so I am contemplating entering Master Mind on the subject.....did you know that a small tub of tobacco seeds the size of a Yoghurt pot is worth $500 and capable of producing enough plants to supply Winston Churchill with sufficient "splifs" to win WW2........likewise, there are several grades of tobacco
leaves earmarked for specific uses from the moment they appear on the plant........fungus can be controlled in the leaf fermentation process by keeping them hot.....freeze your finished cigars for 3 days to "knacker" the dressed cigar beetle....and so on..........all this cigar technology has arrived from Cuba in the 1950's when Castro backed by The Soviets made it necessary for the producers to decamp to a more user friendly environment.......We had a great time despite the stifling odour of the fermenting leaves that were lovingly shaken.....fondled........stacked and restacked in huge bales by petite and demur local girls all under the watchful eye of the "manageress"...... a slim but hard faced girl who proudly showed us virtually every tobacco leaf in her care!!! We left the cigar plantation proudly clutching a box of 20 half coronas that would not have looked out of place in Kiev Casino......
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