This morning we walked out on the balcony of the timeshare and soaked up the view of the Pacific Ocean. As much as I wanted to jump on my bike and ride the coast, today was not the day. Elisa’s sister Carmen invited us to spend the day at her good friends Benedicta and Marwin’s avocado farm. I’ve never really been a fan of avocados, but as an east coaster the avocado is so foreign to me that I wanted to see where they grow and what a west coast farm would look like.
Walking to the car from the timeshare, I noticed a suspicious guy at a van next to our car. As we got into the car he walked away from the van with a a laptop bag. Shannon immediately pointed out that our car had been rifled through. Interestingly, we all had the same strange feeling about the guy, but by now he was long gone. It was my own fault for forgetting to lock the doors. David, I owe you some new two way radios, and Shannon a new coat. We drove about 1 1/2 hours toward the farm into some incredibly steep mountains. Best was the muddy rutted steep driveway that finally made the AWD Volvo pay off. We reached the 20 acre farm at what seemed like the highest point around with an incredible 360 degree view.
To call this place an avocado farm is a serious understatement. Benadicta and Marwin dabble in just about everything: livestock, dog breeding, fruit, and vegetables. When we arrived, the animals immediately got the most attention: goats, sheep, chickens, and Anatolian Shepherds. Especially the recently born lambs. Feeling the temperature change from the coast to the mountains, and seeing the dogs huddled together on the porch, I got a better sense of the phrase three dog night.Then not only did they have avocados, but grapefruit, lemons, cherimoya, and a huge vegetable garden. I was most interested in trying the cherimoya, which I had never heard of, but disappointingly they were not quite ripe. We all loaded up on everything else. So, the only unanswered question I walked away with is whether the avocado is a fruit or vegetable?Stocked with enough fruits and vegetables to last a life time, or maybe just a few days for someone healthier than me, Carmen and her friends prepared us all the most amazing lunch. It was like an international Thanksgiving with numerous Peruvian and Filipino dishes. Most importantly, Carmen made huancaina, or spicy cheese sauce…my absolute favorite. Meanwhile, Marwin grilled tuna steaks over a wood fire.
As we ate lunch, word came back that a baby lamb had just been born. When we got up there, I was looking for the baby? I feel bad for the mother, I would have expected him to be a lot smaller than that.