Trip Start Oct 01, 2012
61Trip End Jun 22, 2013
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On my first morning I got up early to go for a swim in the Olympic sized pool but it was closed for maintenance!! Very annoying. I was picked up by Leslie who is the agronomist that looks after bananas and we headed off to a fairly new farm that wanted him to visit. We walked around the farm a bit and then had a look in the packing shed. I really struggled as it was 34 degrees and about 85% humidity so really hot and sticky. We watched some bananas being harvested. They are cut off the plant using a machete and then hung on the 'banana train' which is an overhead system of wires and chains to which the banana clusters (25) are attached and then pulled along to the packhouse
After that we headed off to another farm and stopped for a tasty lunch on the way. They do a really nice soup nearly everywhere here which has a tomato and chilli base and contains tortilla, avocado, cheese and sometimes chicken. I've had it twice now and love it. In the afternoon we popped into two more farms, one to show me some quality control in a packhouse and the other because they wanted to go over their nutrition schedule with Leslie. Although Fyffes don't own the farms Leslie helps them out when required and visits often as it will ensure that Fyffes get the quality of fruit that they want. In the evening we had dinner and a few drinks in the hotel and chilled out. I tried another local (ish) rum from Guatemala which was absolutely amazing and I will definitely try and track down in the UK! There was karaoke on which was dreadful and hilarious!!
The pool was still closed this morning annoyingly but seeing as we were meeting at 7 maybe that was a good thing! First we went to a farm where they have been having major problems with a disease called Moko so we were checking on the situation. If a plant gets it they have to cut it down, cover it securely with plastic and fumigate it. Some places looked like a banana murder scene there were so many plastic lumps! Plants that were right next to infected areas they were injecting with herbicide to kill them and try and stop the spread of the disease
Whilst driving to the farms we also went past loads of other crops e.g. Cassava, papaya and palm. I had never seen any of them before so took the opportunity to have a quick look as we went past.