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Christmas 2016 – Tarapoto, Peru (Plus – Snow in Arizona)

After a year of intense traveling related to our coffee business, we headed south as the cold winds of December began to blow in Northwest Arizona. Just today I saw on my Facebook page that the Hualapai mountains are covered with snow & Kingman, AZ awoke to a beautiful Colorado Rocky like display.

Meanwhile, it’s tropical hot and humid here in the cloud forest of the Andes & the beautiful City of the Palms, Tarapoto. As any self respecting city, Tarapoto has a pretty nice Plaza de Armas (town square) where every year is a Christmas display.

This year was no exception, but we were surprised at the amount of lights. The municipality did a great job this year. We’ll try and add some more pics in the next few days, but for now here’s a handful to give you a taste.

We hope that everyone has had an outstanding Christmas and that all are enjoying the holidays. For me, it’s a nice time to pull back on the throttle, and reflect on the year behind. May we all share in abundance in the New Year 2017.

First, let’s start with some snow…

Snow in the Mountains – Arizona

Snow in the Hualapai Mountains near Yucca, Az

Snow in the Hualapai Mountains near Yucca, Az (Photo: Jim Federico

Snow in the Hualapai Mountains above Kingman, Az (Photo: Kristi Rose Turman)

 

Now for a more tropical Christmas…

 

Nativity Scene, Plaza de Armas Tarapoto, Peru

Lighted Christmas Tree, Plaza de Armas Tarapoto, Peru

Tarapoto Christmas Lights 2016

Nativity Scene, Tarapoto, Peru 2016

Tarapoto to Villa Rica – A Long Strange Coffee Trip (Part 1)

 

The last week or so had been a series of trips to internet cafes & “locutorios” (where one can make phone calls.) In between the details of organizing a coffee buy, we did manage to enjoy one of favorite places in the world – Tarapoto.

It’s been somewhat frustrating to try and post on the blog. I picked up some malware in one café, and was afraid to log on and compromise the site.

Alas, duty calls and we’re off again (and off the computer again too.) We left Tarapoto in order to get to Villa Rica, and the Chacra D’dago to get some more samples and confirm our final order there, meet some new potential suppliers, and make our way to San Ramon for the second series of Curibamba Workshops this weekend. We’re also making arrangements for the distribution of solar coffee drying tents to the growers in the Curibamba Coffee Project.

It’s a two day journey via land, and there isn’t really any airport option short of flying back to Lima, and then flying to Jauja, which is still several hours to Villa Rica by bus or car. (As an afterthought – flying would have been worth it!) We’re finalizing our purchase of some wonderful coffees that we’ve tested, and visit with our friends, and make some new ones. 

(For more on Tarapoto see here, for more on Chacra D’dago, see here.)

 Here’s what it’s like to travel in Peru to the more remote provinces: Read more

A Trip to the Chocolate Factory and a Startling Fact

 

Two of the things that we’ve always wanted to import are cocoa (cacao) & chocolate products such as nibs, and raw cocoa pasta. We have met many smaller and medium sized producers, and visited farms and seen the whole process from picking the beans, fermentation, drying, roasting, cleaning, mixing and finally to adding ingredients to form something marvelous to the tongue…

 

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Tarapoto – City of the Palms

 

We’re currently staying in Tarapoto (the City of the Palms,) which is a laid back medium sized city in a cloud forest region of Peru. One lure to this area is the vast amount of natural areas that surround Tarapoto in the region of San Martin.

One of those natural attractions is the cascading waterfalls at Ahuashiyacu. Considered by many to be the best falls overall, it’s certainly the closest, at just 14 km from Tarapoto.

 

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