Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Picking Coffee

Nicaragua's tourist industry does not focus exclusively on the development of high end resorts; or even eco-tourism... but is also developing rural and alternative tourism. For example, in Matagalpa we were told of a Coffee Cooperative that hosted tours of the coffee fields.

We drove up to the mountain village and for less than $10 each we were guided on a short hike up the mountain (with our English speaking guide pointing out the names and attributes of various plants along the way); taken to pick coffee for an hour or so and told more about coffee than I'd ever known before; (Did you know that the pulp surrounding the coffee bean inside the berry is quite sweet? I tasted it!) and served a plentiful, if plain, typical peasant lunch.
The skies opened up just as we sat down to lunch so we had a pleasant hour sitting on the porch, digesting our lunch and watching the rain pour down on the lush mountain valley.

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