March mini-photoblog — Brazil
The main story image was taken at Fazenda Sagarana. The pattern of light on the ground comes from clouds, not any image manipulation.
Sunrise over the Atlantic, Ilheus. The hotel I was staying at was right across the road from the ocean and sunrise itself was time for just around 06:00. It was a simple task to wake up early and take some photos before breakfast. I did this every morning, but on only one was the view this spectacular.
Ilheus Bay. This photo was taken one afternoon while returning from a visit to Fazenda Ventura, the farm of Lola Gedeon and Jim Lucas located outside Itabuna. It was a long drive and I got to practice my Portuguese with my driver, and he got to practice his English with me.
There is a unique practice in Brazil, “dancing” on the wet cacao on the drying platform after fermentation. The cacao is heaped into a pile and the worker quite literally dances on it. The thinking is that dancing removes excess pulp, which leads to better quality. I don’t know enough about the process to know if there is any actual science behind this (I suspect it’s done because it’s traditional to do so). However, I do have to wonder if it’s hygienic—I am confident it would not pass HACCP muster. I would not want my cacao danced on if the dancer had an open cut on his feet, or worse.