There were some minor rearrangement of itinerary as the cigar factory we had intended to visit would have been closed due to the New Year holidays. We took the opportunity to visit one here in Cienfuegos, a smaller one by Cuban standards with around 120 employees making 7000 to 8000 cigars per day. The process that we witnessed in the morning was from when after the tobacco leaves had been fermented and brought to the factories. All cigar factories in Cuba were government owned. One thing that I had not expected was the size of the tobacco leaves! And that every single cigar was hand made from beginning to end. I was mesmerised watching the workers sorting leaves and rolling the cigars. It was an incredible process to watch especially the final “skin” layer roll where they had to cut the leave into the necessary shape free hand. Unfortunately no photos were allowed in the factory. It would have been an extremely snap worthy exercise! The children were also asked to sit on the bus as the “air may not be good for them”.
The rest of the afternoon was free for us to wander, explore and shop. We also made use of the free time for a siesta…Yoanis took us to Cienfuegos Bay atop the Palacio de Valle to watch the sunset. Prior to miving onto our restaurant for dinner, he took us to visit the Hotel Jagua, a hotel built by American mafia families but with poor timing with regard to the Cuban revolution! We ended the day early as it was to be an early start to the day tomorrow for our long drive towards Vinales.
|Have a bus? Just park it on the street, no problem!|
|Scenes around our casa|
|Centre of Cienfuegos|
|Posing for Jonah learning how to take photos|
|Jonah also trying to learn spanish|
|As mentioned, the food offering was similar across Cuba|
|Palacio de Valle, one of the most beautiful buildings in Cuba with moorish styles|
|A great place to watch the sunset|
|A quick visit to the Hotel Jagua before dinner, one of the "nicer hotels" in Cuba|
|Pool next to the water|
|Found a new beverage, the non alcoholic limonata frappe! Or fresh lime blended ice drink!|