Thursday, 28 December 2017

Las Terrazas, Soroa & Vinales

We departed right on 7:15am to begin our 4 hour journey towards Las Terrazas. A video on the life of Fidel Castro was played on the bus which helped while away some time. As with the video on Che Guevara, we were certain that it was pro Cuban slanted. Whilst we would not completely accept an American version, the truth most likely stood somewhere in between. The requisite toilet stops along the way with some gift shop perusing were helpful for the olds. Before long we had reached the lush green setting of Las Terrazas. From the The Lonely Planet's "The pioneering ecovillage of Las Terrazas dates back to a reforestation project in 1968. Today it’s a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, a burgeoning activity center and the site of the earliest coffee plantations in Cuba."

Otis, a local guide, showed us a reconstructed afore mentioned coffee plantation which used to dominate parts of the area thanks to the French who fled the Haiti revolution. We then moved on to the eco-village of around 1000 inhabitants, where we were shown the main features and visited a local artist's studio. It certainly was nice to breathe fresh, unpolluted air!

Las Terrazas

Old coffee plantation

Used to to be a coffee storage area

Coffee drying plains

Lunch by a man made lake

Huge sandwich

And a requisite cocktail. I didn't even catch the name of this one

The eco village
Our next destination was Soroa’s Orchid garden where again, a local guide showed us around to identify the various bird and plant species. Oma had a ball looking at the orchids and Jonah the birds. From there it was another hour’s drive to Vinales. Our hosts at our Casa Particulares were so happy to see us and keen to please us. It was humbling and really made us appreciate what we have at home.

One of Jonah's shots

The view from the top of the orchid garden


Front porch of our casa

Tractors just parked on the streets...

Taxi anyone?!?

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