Hello my fellow chocolate lovers,
I am Takanori Chiwata, the chocolate engineer of COCONAMA CHOCOLATE.
From now on I would like to talk about the Ecuador trip I had the chance to take the other day. I want to make these posts like my travel journal, so excuse my broken English!
We finished the tour of cacao farm and were given a ride back through the rural scenery. The traffic was actually pretty bad. I assumed that they had no choice but to struggle with the traffic since there was no such thing as bypath on their road.
We arrived at downtown around 5:00pm and it was already quite dark. It was silly of me to think “Well, it is summer after all ” when I was in Ecuador, a country right under the equator. Their sunset doesn’t get affected all year round. Since I am used to Canada,where the sun won’t set until 10:00pm during summer and sets around 4:00pm during winter, having an unaffected sunset seemed convenient and a little boring at the same time.
By the way, one of the things that surprised us right after we came from Japan was that the sun rises from North and sets at North during the summer in Canada. Summer farmer’s market is our main battleground, and since we merchandise chocolate we need to avoid direct sunlight. That is why I always SPECIFICALLY book an area facing North, but end up getting exposed to the sun in the morning anyways.
Anyways, back to the story of Guayaquil. A big city right under the equator and by the ocean with a population of 2.5 million people.
The cityscape was very similar to that of Spain. It was truly lovely with its stone pavements and stone built European architectures. It was interesting how the tropical plants, such as palm tree, in the city harmonizing with their Eurpoean-style architectures.
It was also nice to see all the buildings painted with primary colours like blue and yellow. As they are a catholic country, there were a lot of stunning cathedrals that caught our eyes too.
We strolled around for about an hour and headed to our hotel after a small dinner.
On the way back we encountered a Ceiba tree! Ceiba tree is a tree shown on the image below, and is known as the “sacred tree of life” in Mayan mythology. Ancient Mayans held many ceremonies under this Ceiba tree.
When I imagined how Mayans used cacao for ceremonies like weddings under the Ceiba tree, I just couldn’t see the Ceiba as a mere tree (it even looked holy, no kidding). I talked about how holy of a being that tree was to our tour guide Monica, but all she did was give me a blank look…Oh well…
When we turned on the T.V. in our room before going to bed, they were airing “Captain Tsubasa”. It was just when the game between Nankatsu Jr.High and Hirato had settled. Jitoh and Sano. How I was able to understand everything despite being a noob to Spanish told me I was 1975 baby for sure. They also aired “Dragon Ball” after “Captain Tsubasa”.
Our schedule was pretty tight the day after, but there was something we absolutely had to do…
Apparently the park in front of our hotel was known as the “iguana park” due to the amount of iguanas there. There was no way for us to miss that sight. So, we started our day with a power-boosting breakfast full of fruits and waltzed to the park.
It was a stunning park! As we thought “they’d better be there~” they were there…A lot of them. Cuter than I expected…. Creepier than I expected.Did some photo shoots of this animal and off I went for my day two!
Let’s call it a day now. See you all on our next post.
With hopes that you will be able to encounter the perfect chocolate just for you,