Keeping You In Stitches

We have U.S. visitors!

Posted on: January 20, 2012

Sally and Mary Kay arrived around 8 p.m. Tuesday evening; their flight was supposed to have arrived at 5:40 p.m.  They were delayed  in Miami – something about a snow storm in Chicago.  At any rate, they arrived on a plane from Boliva…and thus, their adventure began.

I know the way to the airport and the way home!  However, everything looks different in the dark of night. LOL  Yep, missed the turn off at La Garita and finally realized what little I could see in the dark DID NOT look familiar.  So after driving what seemed like many kilometers to find a place to turnaround, we were finally headed in the right direction.  But not before going through a road block with the ever so friendly transito!  Gave them my Costa Rican drivers license; he looked at it, and proceeded to walk around the front of the car.  Then he came back and gave me the license back and motioned for me to move on.  Inquired about how far La Garita was and apparently he has no clue where it is.

We continued driving and all of a sudden I realized I should be exiting!  YAY!  It was the right exit.  These poor women were exhausted from getting stuck in the airport and I added to it by getting lost.  Didn’t think about taking the GPS till I was already through Atenas.

And I got stopped in a roadblock in La Garita on the way to the airport but was motioned on through with out showing anything.  I still get a little nervous when the transito is holding a machine gun.

Arrived here around 10 p.m. – after chatting a little bit, everyone headed for bed because I had scheduled a tour of a coffee farm the next morning.

We convinced Tom and Lee to join us on the tour so we had 6 in our group.  We had the option of staying for lunch with them and we all decided that would be an added bonus to our adventure.

Our tour was the El Toledo farm, that uses an organic and ecologically way to grow and produce their product. This is Gabriel, the son of the man that owns the coffee farm.  He’s very knowledgeable and spoke English well so we could understand it easily.  The “platters” in front of him are dried coffee beans.  At first they looked like Spanish peanuts to me!This is Gabriel’s wife, sorry, I don’t remember her name.  We started our tour with coffee made the Costa Rican way.  She put the ground coffee in three different “pots”  (for lack of a better name) – light, medium, dark roast.  Then she poured water that had been boiled and allowed to sit so it was no longer bubbling into the “pots”.  These are actually cloth filters that the coffee then runs through.  We were all allowed to taste the light, medium and dark roast.  I think in our group, it was the light and medium that won!

Mary Kay decided she would “try on” the basket that the coffee pickers use.  There was a belt-type thing you put around your waist and then hook the basket around so you have some support.  This is a wicker basket, but Gabriel explained some pickers now use plastic ones because they are lighter and cheaper.  Remember, sometimes, these baskets hold upwards of 100 pounds of beans, yes, 100 pounds of beans.
While walking through the coffee fields, Gabriel was very informative about the type of trees they use to shade the coffee; he explained how when you plant coffee, it needs to be planted 3 days after a full moon in March.  When the coffee blooms, it’s a pretty white flower that produces the beans.  We were allowed to “taste test” a bean; sort of sweet and if it was held in your hand, your hands became sticky.


This is the roaster for the beans.  When we pulled in the driveway, we could smell the coffee!  YUM!

We all agreed that the day was well spent….we’re so knowledgeable about coffee now! LOL  I would highly recommend to anyone wanting to see the operation of a coffee farm from tree to finished product, to take this tour.

Pura Vida!

Adios for now….




1 Response to "We have U.S. visitors!"

very cool!!!! I wanna go there next time………probably with April!!!

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