Rolando invited us to visit his coffee plantation. We met him at his house in Santa Maria at 8:30 am and we jumped into Rolando's old Dodge diesel pick-up truck. His plantation is just north of San Marcos. It was beautiful and sunny today. October is coming to an end and summer is definitely in the air!
Most of the Dota region is dedicated to coffee growing. It's also considered the best coffee in the world. All hand picked and only the highest quality (ripe bean) is accepted in Costa Rica. Costa Rica owns only 4% of the coffee market. Due to the market saturation, the government has mandated that it will only export the very best, highest quality coffee. Kevin doesn't even like coffee (are you kiddin' me?)
As soon as we arrived at Rolando's coffee plantation, he quickly climbed an orange tree and started passing some oranges to Kevin. I thought he was just picking two or three for us to try, but he just kept throwing them down to Kevin. We have a whole sackful now. Roland also gave us several large avocados, some weird little yellow fruit and a big bunch of bananas, too. What are we going to do with all this fruit! I think we need to buy a freezer so I can make banana bread and freeze the loaves!
Kevin's never played baseball, but he'd make a great catcher!
And the sack poor Kevin had to lug around for the rest of our walk through the plantation. I would have offered, but I had my hands full with the camera :)
Coffee grows on large bushes. Green berry means it is not ripe. When the berry turns a deep, dark red, then it's ready to pick. The best time to harvest is in the summetime (January to March). Although, they do harvest pretty much all year-round depending on location and altitude.
A vulture high above.
We drove up in Rolando's truck all the way up to La Cruz (The Cross). In the 1940s or 1950s, the community walked a cow-pulling cart up a rutted road (it was rutted today, I can't imagine what it must have been like back then!) with cement to build this cross. It can be seen from a long way away in the Los Santos region (San Pablo, San Marcos, Santa Maria and other 'Saint' places that I still haven't memorized). At one point, Rolando took the wrong turn and we had to reverse all the way down the hill. There was a steep cliff on Kevin's side (the passenger side) and a steep vertical mountain hillside (upwards) on Rolando's side with a dirt gully. How Rolando managed to reverse and not drive off in either direction is a feat for sure. I was impressed (after holding my breath the whole way down). Once we were able to turn around and drive up to the cross... the Catholic in me bubbled to the surface and I felt rather grateful.
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Dave and Krista are a couple from the Pacific Northwest that led overwhelmingly busy lives.
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