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Everyone’s favorite topic

February 19, 2013

We’ve been having some technical difficulties, so we haven’t posted on the blog for a while – but hopefully we’ll make up for that now.  We, Jeff and Kate, only have a little less than two weeks left, but we have so much to say!  So prepare for a post every few days.

Visitors often ask us how we get food and equipment to the reserve. One common thought is that there is an access road somewhere that we keep hidden – there isn’t. It’s just the single trail through the neighboring ranch property that everything comes down. They also guess that we must have a horse or mule to help us out. We don’t usually, although occasionally we do:

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We cook on a propane stove, and have a propane water heater, and those tanks are nearly 50 kg/100 lbs each – so those come in by mule. But for food and most other supplies, we are the mules. Good thing we brought big backpacks!

Sometimes, it can be very dangerous to go to town to get our supplies, as in this last weekend. Carnival had taken over the town, and there were many squirt guns and cans of foam being sprayed all over:

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The backpack full of food doubles as a foam guard.

But the “danger” and the hike are worth it when you can get produce like this:

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95% of the produce that our veggie lady sells is from Ecuador. With just about every climactic region possible from dry beaches to cloud forest to glaciers, there’s a huge variety of local fruit and veggies, from mangoes and avacadoes to apples and strawberries.

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The best part of shopping, though, is that it’s always sold with a smile:

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Another good part of going to town is getting a meal that someone else cooked – especially when the cook was Gladys,

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and the meal is something like her trout.

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Carnival had fun food to offer, as well, including chocolate dipped strawberries:

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Energy for the hike!

But really, we don’t do too badly up at the reserve. We love to cook, and with the ingredients we can get, there have been some fantastic meals.

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Mexican style tamale filled with beans and cheese, homemade corn chips and guacamole, black beans, and a tomato-tree tomato-cheese salad.

It’s not always so healthy as that – Jeff loves his pancakes, especially with bananas and chocolate in them.

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We got a hand grinder for the reserve, which we can use to make masa from corn for tortillas and tamales:

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But, of course, it can be used for other things – locally roasted, fresh ground coffee, for example. Of course, with Jeff’s sweet tooth, there’s been much chocolate making:

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And he’s even been offering chocolate making workshops to visitors. Be warned – it’s a bit messy!

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Messy, yes, but cleaning the wayward chocolate off of your hands is not the worst job in the world.

 

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