Coffee in the Highlands
Trip Start Jan 11, 2012
38Trip End Aug 09, 2012
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Don and I have certainly become accustomed to the odd overnight bus journey in Latin America
The bus arrived in Boquete bang on time, at 6, in the morning, after no sleep. So with a few sour lemons in tow, we headed into town to find a place to eat some breakfast and regain our composure. Boquete is famed for its coffee, but a few shots of tequila would have probably been more welcome at that stage. Coffee would, however, have to do and fortunately it induced the desired effect on the Good Doc, as he managed to redeem himself by proving that he's not just a saver of lives but also an excellent accommodation seeker.
Our abode for the final few days of Al and Kel's trip was perfectly located just outside of town, right in the midst of coffee country
Item número uno on the Boquete agenda was a coffee tour, so off we went to see us some coffee. We visited a small farm that produces Kotowa Coffee, which is apparently one of the best coffees in the world. Our guide for the tour was a passionate Dutchman and he kicked off proceedings by asking us what sort of coffee we drink at home. Most heads dropped immediately but the Good Doc backs himself as a bit of a coffee connoisseur, so he rose to the challenge but ended up botching it horribly by proudly declaring that we drink Nescafé. We subsequently learnt that this is equivalent to telling Louis Vuitton to wear Crocs ("Nice Crocs" - said no one, ever). Luckily the Dutchman was able to swallow his disappointment and continue with the very interesting tour, showing us how coffee is made, from seed to cup. The tour culminated in a tasting session and Al managed to redeem himself once more by ranking his favourite coffees in the exact same order as our guide
The following day involved some hiking. We initially planned to mission to the summit of a nearby mountain but Mother Nature decided to punish us for our sins and throw a downpour in our faces. Fortunately we were granted enough time to take some jumping photos, enjoy a javelin competition and Al sat on a rock and made friends with a cock. We then walked back home in the rain and the well-fed Panamanian did what he does best by telling his wife to cook us some food. With spirits lifted we decided to hit the town for a farewell skop. Before getting to that though, mention needs to be made of Al and Kel's ziplining adventure. Ronald or Doc, please add a comment here to describe the adventure, but judging by the photo of Ronald with her helmet, it looked like a blast.
Our last night was spent celebrating the incredible three weeks that we shared while travelling with Kel and Al. After meeting up with them in crazy Bogota, we ventured through the Colombian interior, soaked up some Caribbean sun, sailed to the extraordinary San Blas Islands, marvelled at man's ingenuity at the Panama Canal and finished off with a coffee education in the Panamanian Highlands. Unfortunately it all had to come to an end, but not before Al smashed 4 double vodka shots and a Panamanian Rumbler in salute of all the timeless memories. The sisters adopted a far more mature salute, but either way, there was no discrepancy with regard to how much each of us enjoyed those magical three weeks.