Acres of Coffee

Trip Start Jun 28, 2011
Trip End Sep 04, 2011

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Monday, August 8, 2011

8 August. We docked very early at 2am in Puntarenas due to tidal conditions there.
Awoke at 5am to find ourselves docked on a very narrow pier that we were sharing with US Naval Hospital Ship "Comfort" on the other side. This ship was on a 3 week goodwill mission spending 16 days in Costa Rica and 4 in Haiti doing minor operations incl cataracts in their 14 operating theatres staffed by 900 crew mainly naval volunteers for this duty. As our coffee plantation tour was not departing until 12.30pm we spent a couple of hours browsing around the many beach front stalls as you do!!! I bought a Tucan bird head walking stick. The locals were very friendly and gracious.By lunchtime it was extremely hot when we set off on our 6 hour trip up into the hills about 3500 ft above sea level.Our guide,Jose, made our walk around Espiritu Santo plantation very interesting and informative.This plantation is one of the largest coffee producing estates in Costa Rica.The pickers(mostly Nicaraguan) only get US$1.25 per 12kilo basket and have to fill between 20 to 30 of these per day.The season only lasts from October to December when the beans have turned red.After harvesting, the beans have to be dried out in the sun for 7 days before roasting.The beans were then moved to the market in the Ox carts, which were painted different colours each cart to their own plantation. The countryside was all very green and lush with lots of "Howler"monkeys swinging wild among the roadside trees. All along the way the locals seemed to be quite poor, living in rusty corrugated iron shacks but many displaying Sky dishes!
We were surprised to learn the prime industry in Costa Rica is Intel Computer chips manufacture followed by Call Centers, Medical equipment and accessories. Coffee only coming in at no.6.There is virtually no unemployment and 98% literacy level. All in all a very enjoyable day.
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Jeff&Jane on

Hello Sailors.
We were there on a Sunday earlier this year,bloody hard to get a Cold Beer in this port on Sunday's.
Have a great time cruising.

AJ on

Sniffin coffee in Costa Rica hey! looks kapai! Love the green dress Mum! Lov to all!!!


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