4/25/19 – Thursday
Another Holland America tour today (the other was of the Glow Worm Cave and Kauri Trees): Cliffs of Jokin. As we continue getting closer to the equator, it’s getting really hot and humid.
Whereas we loved and felt our money was very well spent on the Glow Worm Cave, we weren’t as impressed with the Cliffs of Jokin tour.
All new vanilla plants are begun as a plant cutting, planted in the dirt next to a dead tree stump. They grow vertically up an old tree stand (dead stump). It takes 3 years to produce a flower, another year for the first fruit. There are 10 fruits per flower. Each flower is a hermaphrodite – it includes both the male and female parts. The fruit (pods) are picked by hand and “cooked” in 60-80 Celsius water (140 degrees Fahrenheit to 176 degrees F), not really boiling (212 degrees F), for 3 minutes. This is done 3 times. Next they are covered with a cloth, then dried in the sun. Then it’s dried in the shade. It’s then placed in a small box with special paper. Later it’s placed in a larger box. This continues until it smells like vanilla. This was clearly VERY labor intensive, so you can understand why it costs so much. Now, once the pods are picked they are sent to a factory for the remainder of their treatment. 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) results in $56 income. No vanilla was available for purchase at the farm.
Cliffs of Jokin
Before we were told where to walk to get our photos the ladies offered us palm crowns with flowers inserted. They also pointed out the toilets. Then they gave us coconuts with straws so we could have the coconut water. Not something either of us enjoyed all that much, although it was refreshing in the heat. I was also grateful all this was presented under a roof/shade.
There may have been a story connected to these cliffs, but we don’t remember it. Where we could take pictures had a lot of trees in the way. I imagine 50 years ago this would have been a lot easier to photograph. Or if you approached by boat. This is the shot I got.