22 Jan 2019

Monday 21 January 2019: Minca, Colombia

We joined an excursion today into the mountains behind Santa Marta, to a village called Minca and beyond to an organic coffee plantation.

I guess the choice of vehicle should have given us a clue about the state of the roads ... 4WD off-road jeeps! To be fair the road as far as Minca was a proper surface but thereafter it was once again a rutted, mud track with sheer drops on one side. Not for the faint hearted!

The coffee plantation is owned by a German lady who is slowly improving efficiency to try to survive in today's economic climate. While the equipment is old, she has introduced a series of water pipes to carry the harvested beans down the slopes to the processing plant, thereby reducing the number of people she has to employ. Pickers are transient, and have to be precise in what they pick: only red fruit is ripe so it is not a matter of stripping the entire cluster off the plant, but hand-picking only that which is ripe.

A slow process but good pickers can harvest over 100 kilos a day.

An interesting visit set in a stunning setting.

On the trip back down to Minca we stopped to hike into the jungle to a local waterfall,

before continuing down to Minca for a late lunch. A great day out and insight into life in the mountains.

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