|Valle de Cocora|
But the focus of the day is not coffee, but a certain palm tree, the Palma de Cera, the endangered Wax Palm, the national tree of Colombia. And when you want to get your Wax Palm on, where do you head? Valle de Cocora near Armenia in the Zona Cafetera.
|Entering the Valle de Cocora|
It was sunny, but very windy day. So it was nice to be greeted at the destination point with a hot beverage, a canelazo, which is sugar cane juice, orange juice, passionfruit juice, cinnamon and either ron (rum) or aguardiente (fire water, the national anise-flavored tipple). I opted for "ron." It was smooth and sour and sweet and a couple of dozen kinds of tasty.
The elevation is quite high here, so I will once again choose as my excuse for not hiking an extensive amount. My guide Alejandro and I started on the upward path to get up close and personal with the Palma de Cera.
|Horses crossing the river|
|Virgen de la Pena|
|The path out ... which was the path in ... only facing the other direction|
First, it was forced labor as I was ordered to dig a hole:
|I dig Wax Palms|
|Meet the Wax Palm|
The tree is then planted, more by the park ecologist than by me, but I can live with that:
|So very awkward|
|Leaving the Valle de Cocora|