Coban – The land of Coffee plantations and Instant Coffee

Picture your average family van completely gutted out and filled with 4 tight rows of seats, then the gaps between seats have wooded boxes placed on them to make more seats, and any room inbetween is always logically a spot for one more person. It kind of reminds me of how my clothing in my dresser drawers work. As we left Flores for Lanquin, we had one minivan with 23, and I repeat 23 people in it. Sweaty bodies pressed all around you, people going, and more cramming on.

We flew down unpaved roads where our butts frequently left the seat for a moment so that our heads could hit the ceiling. This could make anyone a bit grumpy, nauseous and smelly, but anytime the bus came through an area of population, masses of mini-salespeople came up to the windows selling their Aguas,Sodas and cold Ice Cream bars. and a cold chocolate ice cream bar is sure to cheer me right up. However, it was at this hour 6 when I was like “Ok guys, its 4 more hours to Lanquin, I’m done for the day” and we spent the night in a dodgy hostel in Coban.

Coban is a quite large city atop a mountain square in the middle of Guatemala. Apparently it is the “administrative center of Guatemala” but more appealing to me than administrating was the Coffee. Coban was developed by coffee growers from Germany towards the end of the 19th century, and the plantations still exist and are ready to be toured.

After a night of cold rain, bad pizza, strange looks from the locals, and some burracho knocking at our front door at 3am. We freshened up with freezing showers, a lather of doctor bonners soap and our rain jackets for the Dieseldorff coffee plantation. Our guide “Carmen” spoke English ( though we have preffered Spanish, it was oddly assuring to have in English.) We got to eat a cherry from the coffee plant, which was really exciting to Keenan, watch the whole plantation plant-to-delicious-drink process, where we finished the tour polishing off a fresh cup of joe.

The next day we had to get the hell out of there. I dont know why, but minus coffee, Coban kinda creeped me out, maybe it was the bad pizza, or the bed bug infested room we slept in, but I’m pretty sure it was just the overall lack of sunlight that made me anticipate our next move.Image

Keenan enjoying not Instant Coffee

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A Lily, yet to bloom.

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Inside the coffee plantation

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On the way to Coban, pretty, no?

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My girl Carmen showing me her Java beans

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Our sketch-balls hostel = $4.00 a night

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