Today was one of our most intersting days yet. We met at 9am and went to a coffee plantation. The owner/guide and his co-worker took us into the plantation´s coffee fields. The coffee plants grow abundantly here. The plants or small trees are about six feet tall, with dark, shiny green leaves. This is not the growing season for coffee; however, we learned about the entire operation.
We also had a chance to leave the main trail and explore the forest. Our guides pointed out various trees and plants and warned us about the danger present in this jungle-like forest. The place teems with life. It was steep climbing at times and very hot and humid. The colonies of ants are fascinating, and the guide says they are a sign of life and favorable for coffee growing. Several of us were bitten by ants - they sting!
In many spots on the plantation, or finca, there are truly magnificent views of the countryside and nearby mountains. This area is very lush, very green. We got some excellent BBQ chicken for lunch and continued our tour. We could hear many birds such as the toucans, but they are difficult to see. The morning was hot, humid and sunny, but the weather changed. Our afternoon walk was overcast and breezy, finishing with a light rain. We traveled back to San Ramon in two small trucks, with the majority of us riding in the back. It was a rough and wet ride back over very bumpy roads, not the safest way to travel.
By the time we arrived home the rains were fast approaching, and it began to thunder. The thunder is even louder here than our Vermont summer storms.