Wednesday, November 12, 2014

10/28 - Lucma Lodge and a coffee plantation

We started this morning by backtracking toward the village, this time we all hiked no zip line. From there we hiked a ways on the dirt mining road. Near the bottom of the road there was a half-finished hot spring pool. The government had promised to build it as a benefit for the locals and trekkers when they but the mining road in. The money ran out, which is too bad because it looked like it would have been pretty nice.

The bridge crossing at the bottom of the valley between Colpa Lodge and the village.
Dalmiro and Tom on the mining road.

Evidence of geothermal activity on the rocks behind Katie and Lisa.
The half finished hot springs pool.
Looking back on the hot springs after turning off the mining road.
Dalmiro leading the way.
One of the many Orchid varieties that Dalmiro pointed out on the hike today.
Some colorful butterflies getting salt, wherever they can.

One of our rest breaks in the humid jungle.
Peru is running high-tension power lines from a recently expanded Hydroelectric generating station to Argentina. These high tension poles/wires are being run through the middle of the jungle. Watching crews work on them as we hiked throughout the day was fascinating.  If you look closely there are 4 or 5 guys attaching the lower arm.
Looking back at the mining road. Also note how the center tree is full of other plants growing on it.

Pacchi Waterfall.
The first of many temporary bridges we crossed today at the base of Pacchi Waterfall.

Becca used her ChromeDome a lot on this trip. It's great for both rain and sun. One has to be careful of UV exposure even on cloudy days at this elevation. I had both hands on trekking poles (didn't want to fall over) most of the time so I wore my Tiley Hat & a lot of sunscreen. Dalmiro was impressed with the ChromeDome and Becca's foresight to bring it.
Dalmiro adjusting some of the branches on a temporary bridge. There are very few permanent bridges in the area due to the massive yearly floods during the rainy season.
Becca crossing that same bridge with Dalmiro ready to lend a hand and Lisa cued up to go next.
We descended pretty much all day.

Dalmiro telling us that this is a main route across the river for the locals, and that we need to cross it.
Dalmiro offered to show us it was safe, crossing it and going so far to jump on it in the middle. Then he came back and said"So who's first?" Everyone hesitated and Dalmiro started laughing. He was only kidding, we didn't need to cross. The jokester.

Lacuma fruit! Becca and I fell in love with this sweet, fruit which is in the avocado family.

Another of the many temporary bridges we crossed.
Here's a wide shot showing the Mule Driver fording the river with our ever present mule. The mule carried water, first aid supplies, etc. It could also carry someone if need be (like Katy on Salkantay Pass).

Yuca plant.

Compound where we had lunch. Note the blue and white building on the left is a toilet. This was another government "gift". They are everywhere and families use them primarily for extra income. They charge trekkers 1 Sol (1 USD = 3 Sols) to use them. Since our group contracted to eat lunch there the toilet was included.

The group relaxing in front of the dining room while we wait for lunch.
All our packs taking a rest.
Inside of the dining room.
The owner's daughter made a game of bringing everyone trekking poles. Here Carol plays along and accepts some poles that aren't hers.
This is a cable car across the valley. There are a few of them and they act as permanent connections. The locals use these when the floods come. They also use them when convenient. The blue dot in middle is someone bringing supplies to our lunch spot.
After lunch we had a 3 mile hike to a road. From there we would take the van to the Inca Trail. The last portion of our day would be on the Inca Trail to Lucma Lodge.

 Views along the trail to the road. Note the beginning of a high tension pole.

The butterfly in center frame has translucent wings where normally there is pigment.
Here is another cable car bridge. It runs from the white spot on the left just to the right edge of the picture.
Another unusual orchid (the plant with the tiny leaves) that Dalmiro pointed out. 
Dalmiro caught this bug and then put it on Christian.
Local farmers built this as a way to sell to trekkers. No one was here since it was the beginning of rainy season
Assistant Guide Lis in front of a banana tree at that same stop.
The farmers also grow coffee. First Coffee Tree I saw.
Our ride drops off at the Inca Trail, after stopping in a town for ice cream bars and Inca Cola.

Arriving at the Inca Trail, waiting for our long lost companion Sue to rejoin us for the last 0.5 mi hike to the Lodge.
Coffee on a plant along the Inca Trail.

Some of us checked into the Lodge as planned and some went straight to the coffee plantation. Our room was as nice as ever.
Lucma Lodge Lounge - Becca leaving through a cookbook.
 Then we went to the coffee plantation for a demonstration.
Coffee trees in a recently replanted section.

Green coffee beans.
Becca and Mark checking out the machine used to shell the coffee beans.
Everyone gathering in the roasting building.
Inside the roasting room. The lady in red owns the coffee farm with her husband.
Here the beans are being roasted in a ceramic pot. The pot sits in the clay oven where the fire is burning.
Lis looks on as Bernice takes a turn constantly stirring the beans as they roast. The smell is phenomenal when the beans are finishing up. 
 Lis brings the finished beans by for everyone to see and smell. Then the farmer pours them into a hand grinder.

Lis talks about the grinder as Carol steps up to start grinding the beans. Her husband Tom documents the process.

Bernice finishes off the grinding. The farmer takes the grounds and prepares several pour over cups.

 Dalmiro pours water into the first cup and misjudges the amount. He is able to save the coffee grounds from spilling over, with help from the farmer.
 The pour over creates "coffee essence". It is a concentrated shot of espresso.

The "essence" is then diluted with hot water to each drinkers' preference. Basically an Americano.

Tom, Bernice, and Mark all enjoying there taster.
The farmers are working on smoothing out some production issues so that they can someday soon supply the coffee needs of the Lucma Lodge. In the meantime they take orders from trekkers and locals. Everyone ordered coffee, before we left. The farmer would deliver the order to the Lodge the next morning before we left. She needed the afternoon to roast and package the orders. Becca and I ordered a pound.
Banana tree on the way back to the Lodge.
Everyone getting their customary hot washcloth and Welcome Drinks (Passion Fruit juice today).
This was on one of our nightstands in the room.
Our bag of made to order coffee.
The evening was one of routine, a 6:30 pm briefing followed by a delicious dinner.It was however our last night in the Lodges. The next 2 nights would be spent in a hotel in Aguas Calientes (a.k.a - Machu Picchu Pueblo). So we settled up any outstanding extras from our stays (laundry, Pisco, wine, etc). We also had to decide what to tip Lis as the tomorrow she is leaving the group about halfway through. Extremely excited to see Machu Picchu tomorrow.

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