Finally got a good nights sleep though we rose early enough to take a walk up the road passed McDonalds to a cafe for breakfast and take away coffee. It took longer than we thought and ended up having to rush to get the bags from the room and pile into the minivan. We left San Jose and headed into the mountains. The scenery was stunning as we drove by forests and coffee plantations on winding roads.
We stopped in the mountain village of Fraijanes for some rice, beans and potatoes. Most meals here consist of rice and beans just prepared in a few different ways. It’s all good though. H was showing signs of dehydration so I got them to crack open a pineapple for some fresh juice. Saved. I was worried the rest would be wasted but they had no trouble shifting the remainder. It was far better than the coffee, ruined by powdered milk. I optimistically expected every cup of joe to be worthy of the Gods here.
Another quick stop at La Plas waterfall for a leg stretch and photo opportunity as you can walk right behind it without getting wet.
Our next stop, and I guess the first tour of the tour. The Mi Cafecito coffee plantation was a struggling business before G Adventures came in and invested. I guess a mutually beneficial arrangement has been made where the plantation can both produce and run tours enough to make a profit for everyone. Here we got to grind up sugar cane and drink fermented sugar alcohol moonshine, which was nice. We learned all bout the process of coffee from planting, to picking, to peeling. They also showed us the roasting process and explained that they only cook to medium roast here. They don’t grow as much coffee as countries like Brazil so they stick to the one roast. They do have two grades of bean, the best ones get shipped abroad and the second rate ones stay for sale in Costa Rica. This explains the coffee I’ve had so far. The tour concludes with a short hike up to a view point over the valley that supplies the river for the waterfall we stopped at earlier. Then back down for an excellent dinner of fresh fish, they literally have tanks of them swimming around you can look at, and fresh coffee that I can only assume was the top shelf stuff as it was extremely good.
We wrapped up the rest of what was essentially a travel day by continuing on in our minibus, which conveniently has wifi, to La Fortuna. A town at the foot of a volcano where it was hot and sunny for exactly 10 minutes before a torrent of rain lashed down turning the road outside our hotel into a river. We made a run for a local activity centre to watch some videos on all the adrenal activities available in the area. Cliff diving, zip lining, white water rafting and all that good stuff. We had already prepaid for a combination of canyoning here and zipling later in the trip. A good portion of the group decided to join us for abseiling waterfalls and walking down a river. The anticipation was high as we went for dinner at a little place recommended by Ale. The poor chap looked horrified when people wanted beer with their food as he only had 9 and there were 16 of us, but it turned out to be just enough.
There are 16 of us now as it turned out a few people arrived late yesterday and two of the Canadians that joined us for dinner realised that they were booked onto the tour leaving the following day. Somehow we ended up with 16 but again, everyone was lovely and all on the same page. Time for well deserved sleep.