Friday, 29 December 2017


Our morning started with a visit to the Indian Caves. It was believed that the Guanajatabey Indians sought shelter here. It was a small limestone cave system with a river running through it. The first thing that came to mind was how poorly it had been looked after. The limestone formations had obviously been touched and damaged, with many black and brown marks, broken bits of stalactites and stalagmites and even numerous carvings on the walls. The first half of the walk through the caved brought us to the river where a boat would take us out through the river. The motor boats used to ferry tourists through the caves couldn’t be good for the cave system either... We were glad that we went early as by the time we had boarded our boat, there was already a long line of tourists behind us.

Our breakfast spread

The back of our casa

This was enough to keep Jonah happy!

At the entrance to the Indian Caves

The first half was a walk through

The second half which took us out was via the water

We then met up with our next local guide, “Floyd”, who had to be one of the most hilarious guides we’ve met. His mother in law jokes were endless! He took us on a walk through the Vinales Valley and took us to the tobacco farm of the local farmer. We went through the tobacco planting cycle as well as the drying process to complement the manufacturing process we saw earlier at the cigar factory. The farmers were mandated to sell 90% of the tobacco to the government and were allowed to keep 10% for themselves. The farmer’s family kindly showed us how a cigar was rolled and offered for us to smoke his cigar. Their tobacco leaves were fermented with the family’s recipe of honey, guava leaves and rum. We purchased our cigars from him as they were significantly cheaper than at the shops.

It was then a walk back to the main town where we had some late, ice-cream and a siesta. We tried some Tapas for dinner which was unfortunately disappointing. The food was all deep fried. However, as the cocktails were all 50% off we didn’t care!

Walking through the locals houses and shops to the Vinales valley

The houses gave way to farmland

Tobacco farm

This farmer is 79 years old!

The young tobacco plants

The drying house where the tobacco leaves were dried

Frames to hang up the leaves

An example of the dried leaves

Walking to the farmhouse

Discussing flora of Cuba like a pro!

Coffee made the really old fashioned way

The farmer's son showing us how the cigars were rolled from scratch

Oma enjoying the free puff!

The locals know how to do it

Time for a rest after watering the crops

Back to the casa

Coffee margarita. Not so good but it was half price!

No comments:

Post a Comment