Fast forward two incredible weeks in my Ecuador journey...don't worry, I will fill you in later...and you have me on the road to the gorgeous Esmeraldas region of Ecuador to visit some stunning cacao farms. I really had no idea what I was in for, or how my life would be touched by the cacao fruit and, more truly by, the cacao farmers. There I was in the car with my other half (Josh), Santiago (Ecuadorian organic chocolate maker, dear friend and wonderful human being) and my new great friends Galia (beautiful British rock star and chocolate entrepreneur) and Ilan (Galia's father aka the most interesting man in the world...step over Dos Equis man!). The car ride alone was inspiring; we talked about our love for cacao and chocolate, how to solve the world's problems (Josh for President!) and shared stories about our families. We laughed and kept each other entertained the entire 7 hour journey to the Ecuadorian coast---a big contribution came from Ilan's extensive joke repertoire.
The ride to Esmeraldas was enchanting. Here is that other half I was telling you about, and behind us is a typical vista seen on a journey from Quito to the coast. All cliches aside, it really was breathtaking. Our drive to the Ecuador coast had it all: Andean mountain highlands, a dramatic descent into the jungle, raging rivers, roads in the clouds, views of volcanoes, beautiful flora, sketchy bridges and sights of wild cacao trees! And I know I am forgetting something.
|Mt. Cotopaxi (Volcano!!!)|