A Journal, with Pictures

Panama to Tapachula

by on Mar.15, 2018, under Flying

We had a rather leisure­ly depar­ture on Wednes­day Feb­ru­ary 28th, since we only had a three hours flight back to Liberia, Cos­ta Rico, where we would overnight. The depar­ture was easy with cus­toms for­mal­i­ties well orga­nized and after pre-flight the twelve Cir­rus were lined up for take off from Mar­cos A. Gelabert Inter­na­tion­al (Pana­ma’s gen­er­al avi­a­tion air­port). As we climbed out we made a left turn and below was the entrance to the Pana­ma canal and the Miraflo­res locks, quite a sight. Of course there always has to be a lit­tle excite­ment, so Pana­ma ATC changed our route so here we go fly the air­plane with one hand and punch in the route changes with the oth­er, while tak­ing in the sights. Easy flight back to Liberia and of course 30 knot gusts down the run­way for our land­ing. Some went to the beach, oth­ers just relaxed at the hotel near the air­port until the group dinner.

The next morn­ing we have to go through the main ter­mi­nal to clear cus­toms, load the bags, pre-flight and we are off for the three hour flight to Tapichu­la, Mex­i­co. For most of the flight we enjoyed a great view of the vol­cano’s that form the moun­tain range of Cen­tral Amer­i­ca. An inter­est­ing sight is the active vol­cano ris­ing out of Lake Man­agua, in Nicara. The fore­cast was for clear skies, but they got it a lit­tle wrong for our des­ti­na­tion and we did a very inter­est­ing VOR DME approach into the air­port. Wel­come back to Mex­i­co, cus­toms and immi­gra­tion, very inter­est­ing, but soon we are on our way to Argovia, Fin­ca (plan­ta­tion) resort, which is a work­ing cof­fee plan­ta­tion. The resort is in the moun­tains and up a wind­ing road, but not to fear, there is a stop for  snacks and cold cerveza,  so the hour and a half dri­ve was good.

We are tak­en to our casitas, which are sprin­kled along a ridge down a stone trail in a jun­gle like set­ting. The units are rus­tic, but clean with every­thing you need, plus a veran­da over look­ing the val­ley with a spec­tac­u­lar view. We all relax, in our case with a cold bot­tle of wine on the veran­da, then we are off to the group din­ner. It’s a fun evening, with lots of con­ver­sa­tion and laugh­ter, capped off by a sur­prise to Joyce, birth­day cake and cham­pagne with a  ser­e­nade by the wait staff.

The next day the own­er of Argovia, Bruno Guse­man, third gen­er­a­tion plan­ta­tion own­er gives us a tour and expla­na­tion of grow­ing, pick­ing, pro­cess­ing, roast­ing and brew­ing cof­fee. Bruno made a spe­cial trip from Tapachu­la to per­son­al­ly con­duct the tour, and he not only edu­cat­ed us but total­ly charmed us. In addi­tion to cof­fee, Bruno explained that Argovia Fin­ca had diver­si­fied, and was pro­duc­ing a wide range of prod­ucts rang­ing from flow­ers to hard wood in addi­tion to oper­at­ing the resort.

After the tour Bruno took us through his per­son­al home, which was con­struct­ed of hard wood and could have been the set for a movie and was,surrounded by beau­ti­ful gar­dens. We then had lunch, some toured the flower oper­a­tion, some relaxed or went to the spa. We then had our last brief­ing for the trip back to Brownsville, before our last din­ner together.

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