Butterfly and Coffee

Trip Start Dec 17, 2007
Trip End Dec 27, 2007

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hi Everyone,

    This my Day 3 on the road.  Today my dad and I woke up early and went on the tour to Butterfly Farm and Cafe Britt tour. This combo tour started around 720 am in the morning. 
    Our first stop was Butterfly Farm. This place actually breed butterflies. They collect the eggs and larve from the wide and put multiple host plants inside a netted area then allow the butterfly to grow without much predators. In the wild butterflies have a 2% chance survival but in captivity they have a 96 % survival. There are lots of breeds of butterfies like Monarch, Morphos and Calicosm they are HUGE and COLORFUL. The guideīs name is Rosa, she is a very attractive young Costa Rican college student who is studying biology and doing the guide as a side job to make additional income.  She showed us stages of life of butterflies and larve, eggs and coccons. The monarch coccon actually has a gold ring around its blue color coccon, very pretty.  The larve are kind of gross because they are full of dark hair that causes allergies.
     Next we went to the Cafe Britt Coffee plantation. The tour started off with the guide describing how the coffee are planted and grown. Then they mentioned about how they are doing the plantation organically by using another large tree as sun shield as well as nutrient supplement of nitrogen. they donīt use any fertilizers. The fruit of coffee bean is called they Cherry due to its bright red color, they are hand picked when ripe. A 25 pound coffee "cherry" fruit only yield a net 3-4 pound of coffee beans. The whole process from fruit to finished coffee bean is complicated one. First the fruit must be removed, next they are dried and about 3 more layers of peel must be removed then dried further. Lastly the coffee beens are roasted in a gigantic oven and the time of roasting actually what type of coffe we get, longer the roast, the stronger the coffee gets so the longest roast is called expresso and shorter time is the French roast.
     I am kind of surprised how the guides took us into a theater and did the whole coffee tasting followed by good "acting" complete with customs of the history of coffee from their origin in Ethiopia to Europe and finally to Costa Rica in 1715. Coffee quickly became the main source of income for Costa Rican and the money they made is what build the infrastructures of Costa Rica today. After the tour, the guide took us to the gift shop and gave us a GRAND BUFFET, it is wonderful complete with tropical fruits, salad with rosemary infused vinegrette, local rice and beans, fish,  stirred fried vegetables and last but not least a free cup of coffee of your choice. My dad and I each had a cup of cappuccino. Around 3 pm, we were brought back to San Jose.  This tour at Cafe Britt is WONDREFUL, I would recommand to anyone who decide to visit SanJose. The Butterfly Farm is very unique and not too touristy. The combo tour only cost $70 for 2 persons.Nice deal.
     After returning to the hotel, I started stressing myself out by booking rest of the tours, hotels and transports in one setting. I think if I were to do this again, I wouldnīt book this by myself, a package tour costs more but less headaches. I have to match up time for transport to tour then hotel and pretty much switching hotel on a nightly basis. It is worse than my job. But do I feel like a tour guide in a foreign country I never been to. It is much tougher booking tours in a developing country than in a developed country.
     We will be doing another packaged tour tomorrow to Tortugero National park full of wild life and possibily see a few hatching turtles returning to sea, it should be fun.
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