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Old 12-13-2009, 10:07 AM   #12
whizzerwheel OP
Using Occam's Razor
 
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Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Settled In
Oddometer: 1,228
Day three begins to a hard rain. It rained so hard in the night that I actually got up a couple of times to see what the heck was happening, it was so loud.
Here's a view from our balcony




We went down for breakfast







Jimmy Carter had dinner here once as the pictures indicate...I guess if its good enough for Jimmy...it's way to good for me. When was he president....Hmmm...? Kinda miss that Billy Beer though...hiccup..




We continued on....Along the northeast shore of Lake Arenal

Don't know what this contraption is or was



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We went through the town of Arenal (no pics) and continued towards Tilaran on the northwest corner of the lake...along the way its typical to see people in roadside stands selling stuff. It could be fruit or vegetables, jewelry, trinkets, wooden carvings, bathroom fixtures...you never know.





Mother and daughter operation





We are trying to find our way to Monteverde, and somewhere along the way I took a wrong turn. By the way, there aren't road signs like you would see in the U.S., you kind of have to dead reckon which way to go...sometimes you'll see a hand painted sign of no particular uniformity or color, with the name of a town on it, and an arrow...we followed those. Fortunately there really aren't too many road options, so you can't go wrong for too long. Well I had taken a wrong turn in some little town, maybe Dos de Tilaran...not sure, but I kept getting to dead ends. I was turning around....again... and these little girls appeared from their home so we asked them how to get to Monteverde. They pointed the way.



Yah, it started raining again....




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Then it cleared for awhile




I may be odd...but I find cemetary and burial customs kinda interesting.





Then it started to rain again...we had seen a sign for a "eco" coffee tour...we wanted to do that.





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Then it started to clear again...there's a pattern here.





We traveled down into a little valley and arrived at the coffee co-op.





We waited a little while for a small group to finish their tour, then we got a private tour.
This was a group of college kids from the U.S. midwest that had toured a half dozen coffee cooperatives, they were studying entrepreneurism in Costa Rica. This was a little taste testing drill that they had at the end of the tour.




Our tour begins

Very basically, this is a cooperative of about 500 local farmers. The coffee beans are picked and delivered each night into a hopper where they are weighed. They are then shelled and pre-sorted for quality.



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The good stuff goes to the roaster





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Then to packaging





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Here's some stuff that didn't make the export market





The spoils at the end





We did this too...sorta like a wine tasting thing I guess...you take this big exzaggerated sip with lots of air and a little coffee, swish it around in your mouth...than spit it out.
I'm really not a coffee drinker at home but...damn...this stuff is good and I drank coffeed the whole trip...never had a bad cup.





Sorry to bore you with this but this was for you coffee addicts...

We continued on and the day was really nice.




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So we arrive in Monteverde...It's kinda touristy surprisingly, considering the roads that you have to take to get there. It reminds me a tiny bit like some Colorado rocky mountain town on the other side of some mountain pass like Telluride, but without the air of snobs and money. I kinda like it.





We have lunch at this place





This is how you get up there...





It seemed kind of neat but it turned out to be too windy and cold, so we moved inside.




We shared this which turned out to be way too much, so we took a doggie bag for later. Carla went down the street to a bakery, and got bread and cheese which we later combined with the remnants of this lunch.





After lunch we went looking for a hotel and came up with this nice little cabin




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Oh yeah, got these guys to pose for a pic as we were loading up. They were running a road block as we were coming into town, but didn't wave us over. Must be my clean cut look...or my bright flourescent yellow jacket which screams...tourist, tourist, tourist.


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Costa Rica, Two Up: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=532923
A Weekend Bagel Tour: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=568464
WR's in NH and Maine: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=733821
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