Coffee, Chocolate and Jade

February 12th, 2010
Day 25.  Kaffee Fernando’s speciality is an own recipe white chocolate.  Ordinary white chocolate contains no cocoa solids and consists only of cocoa butter, milk powder and sugar (and is derided by true chocolate enthusiasts) whereas Fernando’s white chocolate uses “white cocoa solids” to give it a chocolatey taste.  Fab!  In addition, the cocoa beans they use aren’t bitter (apparently only 2% of the world’s production is not bitter) and can be eaten raw and unroasted and are a great antioxidant.  However be warned … a couple of beans sent us flying out of the coffee shop!

Beans means chocolate

Fernando, the man himself

The local markets are famous for embroidery, handicrafts and Jade.  We were struggling to find any embroidery to buy because they were a bit too heavy to carry and the colours a bit loud for modern furnishings in the UK, and then by chance, we came across a lady selling magnets.  Safe was instantly mesmerised and swapped a couple for some pretzels.  We were amused to find around the corner that every male tourist had also bought the same magnets and hadn’t managed to purchase any local embroidery either.  It was a male magnetic bonding moment!  We did manage to purchase a jade necklace after some heavy bartering.  The seller’s wife wore an “antique Mayan artifact” jade necklace for which he wanted 800 US Dollars (you know you’re in trouble when a price is quoted in US Dollars)!  We decided to go for a more recently manufactured article for a fraction of the price (quoted in Guatemalan Pretzels).  You can see the ancient relic around the vendor’s neck in the photo.

Jade seller

Camera Experiment (continued …)
Objective: To assess the effects of salt water on a digital camera.
Design: Throw camera into the sea in Belize.
Method: Wash camera in fresh water then dry out for four days using silica gel and rice.  Switch camera on.
  • Photos were intact on the the SD card, but only after it eventually dried out.
  • The camera can be switched on and makes a brave attempt to take photos, but our expert assessment is that the camera is knackered!
Conclusion: Camera and salt water don’t mix.  Replacement bought from a shop in the main square in Antigua!
Picture taken by salted camera
Tonight we said goodbye to Willy, our team mascot.  At just short of 70 years, he might have been the oldest member of our group, but certainly was the youngest at heart.  We will remember him fondly for giving his money and food away to stray children and dogs, and for keeping an eye out for all of us.  He was a pleasure to travel with and we shall miss him!  We wish him well for the future.  Wrap up warm in Antwerp, Willy!

Willy (who was definitely not drunk)

2 Responses to “Coffee, Chocolate and Jade”

  1. aseema says:

    willy looks like a very happy man!

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