Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 5: The finca scene

We had time for a walk through some of Marta's property at Casa Jardin Zen (Armenia Colombia) before leaving. During the last 20 years, Marta has turned her sloping hillside below her home/guesthouse into a veritable jungle by planting virtually everything that we saw. It was like wandering along trails cut in a natural jungle. It was hard to believe that she had actually planted it all herself.

 Jordan hiking past hundreds of bamboo trees...

Santiago (Jorge's helper), came to escort us to our next destination of "Betica". Jorge, our Colombian friend, owns "Betica" which is a finca (farm). There Jorge grows macadamia nuts and coffee beans. He also rents land to another who grows papayas by the thousands. From the macadamia nuts, Jorge also creates a spread like peanut butter only it is crunchy macadamia butter and so delicious.

Macadamia nuts & coffee beans drying - roof is pulled overtop when it rains

The coffee from his beans is the best we've ever tasted, not surprising though as we were in the heart of the Colombian coffee country. They call this prime coffee growing area the Coffee Triangle as it sits between the major cities of Bogotá, Cali, and Medellín.

 Jordan raking coffee beans

We could walk outside and pick mandarin-type oranges to eat from his tree or fallen macadamia nuts from the ground. What a delightful treat. Jorge also processes honey that his bees make from the macadamia pollen.

As it was early in the day, we decided to check out the famous Parque Nacional del Café. This is not a cafe but a famous park area with amusement rides, museums, eco-areas, and of course coffee shops/restaurants with delicious Colombian coffee. I've even started to drink coffee again!

We were just entering the building to watch a performance when it started to rain. It was a great show with very colourful costumes but when the show ended, it was pouring and did not look like it was about to let up. We had not taken any rain gear with us so we had to ride back to the finca on Ruby and were soaked though and through upon arrival.

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