El Cafetal’s Coffee Plantation

Young Coffee Plants (©Coen Wubbels)

Bolivia is one of the world’s producers of Arabica coffee. While the Yungas (north of La Paz) is Bolivia’s traditional and principal coffee growing region, the country’s largest exporter is situated in the department of Santa Cruz – in Buena Vista, to be exact. A friend suggested to check out Hacienda El Cafetal, to visit the coffee plantation and factory and, of course, to taste some high-quality, organic coffee. Continue reading

Fresh Mint Tea with Mint Leaves from the Garden

For the past couple of weeks we stayed with friends in Cochabamba (Bolivia), who have a beautiful garden. Gardening is something I miss in our life on the road and I loved getting my hands in that soil again. Most of all, I have always appreciated vegetable gardens. I used to have my own and took great pleasure in harvesting my vegetables, fruits and herbs. Continue reading

An Act of Kindness (Day 7): Serving an Egg!

One of the restaurants in Bolivia where we had lunch

This is day 7 in the 30-day series “An Act of Kindness by a Stranger”. We have stopped for lunch at a roadside restaurant in eastern Bolivia.

The owner asks what I’d like to have. I can choose between costilla frita and milanesa. I ask if I can have the milanesa without the milanesa, if she understands what I mean. We arrived in Bolivia only a couple of days ago and after two years of speaking Portuguese, English, French and Dutch I have to dig deep to find any Spanish word at all, and am not sure if my question makes sense. Continue reading

Indian Food – Eating From a Lotus Leaf

We have been staying with a family in a gold-mining town. Uma, our host, lives with her parents and her young son Nigel on the outskirts of town. She suggested we should visit one of her aunties and family for a celebration. It takes a bit of patience but we are rewarded with how it feels to eat with our fingers again. (For some reason we have no photos of this particular day, but these will give you an impression of Guyana’s countryside). Continue reading

Eating Starch? – What’s the Secret to Making a Proper Beiju?

Curiosity is lying in wait for every secret.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Why did I not think of this before? I’ll just buy tapioca and we’ll make beiju,” I concluded.

It was such a simple solution to such a simple problem: staying in a village where I couldn’t find bread and needed something for breakfast. Continue reading

Visit the Munnar Tea Plantations in Kerala, India

The world around us is an ocean of green: undulating hills blanketed with dark green and soft green tea plants. India is the second largest tea producer in the world (after China) and the Munnar Tea Plantations, in the southwestern state of Kerala, is one of India’s major tea producing centers. Continue reading

Dinner without Distractions

It is Saturday night, and it’s dinnertime.

We move two tables next to the swimming pool. Our hosts Leandro and Viviane set them with white tablecloths and light candles. For a second the night is about to go up in smoke as the cat discovers the fringes of the tablecloth – one table with candles and an open bottle of wine wobbles back and forth dangerously, but we manage to steady it in time. Continue reading