Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Costa Rica Trip (Day 2)

December 28 - Volcanos and Coffee
Our first destination this morning was the Poas Volcano. On the way, we passed several hills of coffee plants along with a Senor and his oxen along the side of the road:
Once we got to the volcano, we did a short hike up to the crater and were lucky to have clear, sunny skies so that we could see all the way across to the other side about 1 mile away:

Signs were posted frequently with advice to visitors on what to do in case of volcanic activity:
After viewing the crater, we walked up another trail to the Botos Lagoon and were amused to see that HP is one of the corporations that helps to fund this public area:

Our final short hike was along a cloud forest trail, which was shady and cool and showed off some interesting greenery along the way:

Our next stop was the Doka Coffee plantation, where we had lunch at La Cajuela restaurant overlooking the grounds of the estate, including a scenic old water wheel. We also tasted several different blends and roasts of Doka's products:

Unfortunately, neither Mr. E nor I were particularly fond of any of the Doka coffee, which reminded me a bit of our coffee touring and tasting in Kona, Hawai'i, when we discovered that we have very particular palates and didn't care for many of the supposedly-desirable Kona beans. Maybe we've been Starbucks drinkers for too long. Ha!

After lunch, we had a tour of the estate with Reynaldo, who taught us about the life-cycle of a coffee plant and bean, the process for roasting and drying the beans, why some roasts are darker than others, and how the peaberry is created. We saw several of the workers outside raking the drying beans in the sun -- a hot and tiring task that must be repeated every 45 minutes until the beans are ready!

We also admired the coffee plants and beans at various stages of ripeness:

Other sights at Doka included some beautiful and interesting flowers and plants, a bonsai display, and another small butterfly garden. We've definitely been able to get our fill of the mariposas during this trip!

On our way back to the hotel, we had a brief driving tour of downtown San Jose, so Mr. E and I got to see again and learn more about some of the places we'd walked around the day before. We also finally saw a Starbucks. But no time for a stop with a full bus of fellow tour members! At least we had found an espresso cup at Doka to add to our collection back home.


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