A 90 minute drive over bumpy roads to the Argovia Estate and Flower Planation in the Sierra Madre Mountains was unexpectedly one of the most interesting tours of the cruise. Argovia was founded in 1880 and is one of the oldest coffee producers in the region. In 1995, a coffee fungus destroyed the coffee production so Argovia transformed portions of the estate into a cultivation area for over 125 species of tropical plants. Argovia was the first company to produce flowers in a sustainable manner.
Saturday, January 13, 2018 the Westerdam docked in Corinto, Nicaragua. A 90 minutes bus ride to Ruins of León Viejo, one of the oldest Spanish colonial settlements in the Americas which was abandoned in 1610 because of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Climbing a small hill provided an excellent view of the Momotombo Volcano and Lake Xolotlan.
I started binding Cuppa in July 2018. Alas, each monthly block of Fresh Cut took 60 to 70 hours to complete.Finishing hand sewing the binding kept getting pushed aside. I was happy to be informed that the cruise class rooms would be open for open sew in the evenings. I decided to bring my Cuppa quilt on the Panama Canal cruise. I am happy to report that my Cuppa quilt is complete, including hanging pocket and quilt label.
Cartagena on Tuesday, January 9th was the second port of the cruise. I chose to tour the fortress of Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, the greatest Spanish fortress in the Americas. The fortress was built between 1536 - 1767 to defend Cartagena against pirate raids. The fortress was built atop the San Lazaro hill. Walking up the 130 foot steep slope afforded beautiful views of Cartagena.Read more