Out for breakfast this fine Saturday morning – to Valhalla Macadamia Farm, near San Miguel Dueñas. Wikipedia states (and this I learned in school): In Norse mythology, Valhalla (from Old Norse Valhöll “hall of the slain”) is a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard, ruled over by the god Odin. Chosen by Odin, half of those who die in combat travel to Valhalla upon death, led by valkyries, while the other half go to the goddess Freyja’s field Fólkvangr. In Valhalla, the dead join the masses of those who have died in combat known as Einherjar and various legendary Germanic heroes and kings, as they prepare to aid Odin during the events of Ragnarök. Before the hall stands the golden tree Glasir, and the hall’s ceiling is thatched with golden shields. Various creatures live around Valhalla, such as the stag Eikþyrnir and the goat Heiðrún, both described as standing atop Valhalla and consuming the foliage of the tree Læraðr. What has this to do with Guatemala and the Macadamia Farm? I would have liked to think that the founder was from Scandinavia, but nope! He came from California, with a very Scandinavian or Germanic name! I’m including the link to his webpage because there is so much of interest in the uses and benefits of the Macadamia Tree and it’s nut http://www.exvalhalla.net. Breakfast is served outside, under the trees -most pleasant. The Macadamia pancakes are to die for, made with macadamia flour and nuts, and go so well with that rich Guatemalan coffee!
After breakfast, and admiring the plant and flower filled restrooms, we took the tour. We learned about the origin of the tree and it’s uses and saw the nut sorting and processing machines. Some of our group took advantage of a free (tip appreciated) facial with macadamia oil, while others of us just relaxed and enjoyed the scenery, and visited with a group of tourists on a cruise from Australia, whose ship berthed at Puerto Quetzal in the early morning and who arrived by coach. We purchased enough Macadamia tree saplings for each of us to plant at the farm tomorrow, as well as some for family members.
Next we drove to La Azotea, Cultural Center and Coffee Farm. Last time here, a year ago, I didn’t buy any of their Coffee Liqueur, but this year I had it on my list! Mmmm, mmm, good! The tour took us through a series of dioramas showing all aspects of coffee production, from planting to harvesting. We were told the history of the original owners, and admired displays of antique and vintage coffee pots, cups, and photos. Then we went across the drying yards to the plantation itself, saw the wonderful composting operation, and the garden center. And, of course, the gift shop!!! That was good exercise to walk off the effects of the Macadamia Pancakes, but it was almost lunchtime already.
We ate a leisurely lunch in a beautiful setting at a restaurant in Antigua, Epicure, across from Mercado Artisanal de Carmen’s outdoor Saturday market!
Time to go home – while we were gone there had been a hail storm and a tree came down on the power lines – no electricity! Supper and a family birthday party by lantern light – a perfect ending to another perfect day.