Zona Cafetera

Trip Start Sep 30, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
The Plantation House

Flag of Colombia  , Quindío,
Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Yesterday we spent the whole day travelling, first we got the bus from Bogota, we were aiming for the 09.30 bus to Armenia. When we got to the bus station at 08.30 the guy selling the tickets told us that the 08.00 bus was just leaving. So we quickly got our tickets and some breakfast to have on the bus and went in search for our bus. In the end we didn´t leave until 09.00. It was 30 mins before our planned time anyway so we were pleased. The journey was to take around 8 hours. The landscape was beautiful, passing through the mountains, up and down, and up and down again. Some seriously steep drops made it breathtaking. At one stage we were so high up that we entered the clouds. We had a quick stop for lunch and in the end reach Armenia just on scheduled time around 5 o´clock. We got dropped off at the bus station and went to search for the "buseta" (local minibus) for Salento which was our final destination. It was very easy and we only had to wait a few minutes for the next buseta. We arrived just before 19.00 in Salento and a sweet local man, Rodrigo, showed us the way to the Plantation house where we had a room booked. On the way to the hostel we passed a resturant/ pizzeria that is owned by a Spanish guy called Jesús. This looked like a good option for dinner so we went and checked in to the hostel and went straight back to Jesús for a brilliant chicken tandoori pizza and local beer. We got some great information and Jesús told us to do the Coffee Plantation Tour with Tim (the owner of the hostel) the next day. We had already planned this but since Jesús said it is the best tour around we were decided. After dinner we went back and had an early night, we were a bit tired after travelling all day and we got a really nice and quiet room which we needed after Bogota.

This morning we finally managed to sleep until 07.00!!! Ramón went down to the reception to get the towels that we couldn´t get the night before since they hadn´t dried after being washed.Tim was around and said he would be doing the Coffee Tour at 09.00 in English and then afterwards we could go down to the Plantation to see the whole process and get it explained in Spanish too. Sounded like a great deal for only 5000 pesos (2eur) each. In the end we didn´t get back until 12.30 so it was great value for money. We had one hour with Tim explaining the whole growth, harvest, drying, roasting, grinding process and the differences between coffee types around the world. I have to say the information was great!! Then we went down to the plantation itself to see the whole process in action. This time it was explained by Andrés, the administrator working in the team of 5 on the plantation. He was a great source of information and it was even more impressive to see the whole process in action. Down at the plantation they also grow bananas, pineapples, avocados, lemons and lots more things. And of course we got to try a freshly brewed cup of coffee from the beans grown at Finca Don Eduardo which is the name of the plantation. Tim has a great idea for the coffee farm, online you will be able to "buy" your own coffee plants and follow the growth process. Then they harvest, roast the bean and even grind it for you. Finally the will package your own coffee and put a label with your choosen name of your organically grown coffee. Sounds like a great present idea for coffee lovers!! But someone a few coffee plants at Finca Don Eduardo and then have your own coffee sent to you straight from Colombia.
After the tour we went for lunch at a local place recommended by Andrés at the plantation, it was in town so we went to drop off our wellies at the hostel and walked to town. The restaurant was called El Rincon del Lucy and served a great lunchmenú, first a hot soup and then your choice of a plate of trout, rice and vegetables or chorizo, rice and lentils. For a great price, only 6000 pesos (2.50eur). After lunch we went to the Mirador (lookout) where you have views over the town and the Cocora Valley, which we will visit tomorrow. This evening we will probably just relax around the hostel and maybe go for a drink in town. It is a really quiet but lovely little village.
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barbara on

Emily it looks soooooo beautiful

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