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.