Our first real adventures in the unforgettable Cuba
16.11.2015 - 18.12.2015
With our money problems sorted out, thank you Cats Mum, the next day we decided to get out of the city and head to the west side of Cuba to a town called Vinales. Unsurprisingly we missed the only bus of the day by ten minutes, but as it turns out, you can get a taxi for almost the same price. We pile into a Classic Dodge that has seen better days with an English couple and make our way through the flat lands around Havana and into the stunning mountains in the west; heart of Cigar country.
Our first Casa Particular turned out to be on prime real estate. We were at the summit of a rolling hill with a 360 degree view of the entire valley, to top it off this Casa had roof access ideal for Cigar and Rum sunsets. Our casa owner, Maria, organised a private horse back riding tour for us through the valley with the lovely Louisi and his trouble making ponies (he claims they all have 3 or 4 mojitos together a night); a tobacco farm to watch Cigars being made and sample; a coffee farm tour; cave exploring and a swim in a slightly muddy lake, it was a perfect way to settle into Cuba and dust off the camera.
Day two in Vinales was a two hour collectivo ride to the beach in a Bedford van that should have been declared condemned 17 years ago, although it was a new experience getting to see the road pass by underneath due to the rusted out holes in the flooring. The beach was beautiful with white sand, perfect blue water and a few conveniently places bars and restaurants to escape the sun.
With shy sunburn and sore butts from the previous day we headed out to suss out the town once back in Vinales (you will be glad to know the van made it back and the holes had not worsened). Sitting on the large porch of one of the many bars with 60 other tourists, we listened to an absolutely awesome local band, drank too many Cristal beers and a local declared his undying love for me at least 14 times.
Although Vinales is a small town, their one night club or discotheque as the locals call it, is a goer! A bottle of rum for the table at $10CUC (and that’s expensive apparently), some new and old friends (by old I mean the Italian guy we met two nights before in Havana) and some incredibly bad Salsa Dancing on our behalf, made for an excellent night but a shite morning. Cat decided to stay out partying while I went home to catch some sleep before the next day, one problem, Cat has the room key and our Casa owner has no spare. Picture this, me after a few rums, curled up in a ball on the concrete hallway floor using a wet towel as a blanket and even the kitten won’t keep me company. Needless to say, I was not in the mood for chatting when Cat did make it home and it was definitely a quiet first few hours on the bus to Trinidad.
I still haven't come to terms with that morning yet.