Day 43: the Chocolate Hacienda
Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
92Trip End Dec 25, 2007
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The walking tour was another matter entirely; it was interesting to see how they grew and harvested stuff but it was bloody hot outside and we were all dying by the time we got halfway through the thing
Lunch was amazing - grilled outside where we could smell it for half an hour and get thoroughly hungry and really enjoy it. It was like three kinds of meat and salad and this awesome casserole thing. But then came the dessert - fresh fruit with chocolate fondue to pour over it. I was pretty much in heaven, yeah. It was sooooo good. Andy and some other people were pouring the fondue right out of the pot and into their mouths. It was hilarious until they'd eaten all the fondue that way and the rest of us didn't get a second round... anyway it was good.
Then we had some more siesta time and I took another nap. I don't know how I kept ending up in the hammocks because I sometimes had to force myself to let someone else have them for a while, but no one took them so I just kept getting back in the same one
Then we were shown the chocolate "factory" - which I can't believe was actually the factory but when I saw the limited supply of chocolate from the actual plantation in the gift shop I guess it made some sense - it amounted to a chocolate grinder and some milk and a spoon, pretty much. The guy cut the top off the cocoa pod and pulled the seeds out of the inside for us to see; they're actually covered in white fruity stuff that tastes really really sweet and amazing and that's what they made the juice out of except the juice was too weird for me. The fruit is really really good though; you just suck on it and chew the fleshy stuff off without chewing the bean and then chuck the bean. For chocolate, they dry the beans instead, like we saw before, and then of course grind them up and add this milk and voila! Chocolate. It was wicked good chocolate too but my favorite was actually the cocoa fruit stuff.
After that we went to the little tienda giftshop thing and six people got to buy chocolate because that's all there was that was actually made at the plantation from the chocolate that was grown there
That evening Liz came by my room and we were both feeling a little nostalgic so she played John Denver music and we looked at her pictures of Colorado mountains and rivers and snow and had a good hard cry. It was my first good hard cry about being homesick, actually, so clearly it was time. It was good to be able to share that with somebody who really understood not just the feeling of being homesick but the specific nolstalgias and what I was homesick for. That was really nice, and Liz copied that John Denver cd for me after that, since my computer ate mine when its hard drive crashed a month before this trip started.
Well that's all from Ecuador, everybody. Muchisimo Gracias por todo y te extraños mucho! Te adoro!