Vinales Travel Blog› entry 4 of 5 › view all entries
Not too big on the city life, Dim and I took a bus to Vinales the day before yesterday. It is about a 3 and a half hour trip through some beautiful countryside of farms and small farm houses. Very lush and tropical. Our lovely casa particulares houselady in Havana had tee´ed up some accommodation in another casa particulares here in Vinales. Our lady here is just as nice. We have stayed two days with her now. Our room is clean and comfortable (the shower is somewhat tempramental but...) and we have a nice little patio that overlooks the countryside.
On the day we arrived, we had a look around the plaza which has a very colonial spanish old church ... complete with the old bell on top. It is like something out of an old Mexican movie or something...so picture that. A really nice atmosphere in the plaza too with many people just loungin around. We walked about 1 km out of town to a really nice restaurant which did awesome pizzas. The scenery on the way was really similar to something like Vietnam or Thailand, big green and sheer mountains that jut out of nowhere.
It rains a bit here but it is an absolute downpour and then 5 minutes later it stops. It really just makes the heat more sticky and the humidity that little bit worse. There have many a hair dilemna about this humidity but we are soldiering on!
The espanol is improving but there are still things that we have to act out. My favourite was Dim explaining that she doesn´t eat any meat (she got that point across ok) but that she did eat eggs. I knew the word for egg (huevo) but it was still hilarious to watch Dim act like a chicken laying an egg.
At the local bar on the first night, there was a show with salsa dancing and standing on tequila bottles. It was fantastic. The local people have such a natural talent and rhythym. Amazing. Yesterday we did a horse ride out through the farm areas and countryside. Having never riden a horse before, I was little apprehensive but I have to say it was fantastic. Our guide, Roberto spoke not a word of english and insisted on giving us a complete running commentary, even though he knew we spoke hardly any spanish. We could pick up words occasionally but it was really a miming act again. We had no idea where he was taking us, how long we would be or what we would see.
We were taken to an old farmhouse where we got to see cigars being made...no factory tour, this one...it was authentic farmer rolling it with his bare hands on his wooden table outside. It only took a few minutes and then it was time for us to have a puff. We had had a little training earlier that day when we bought two cigars in a shop. We were shown how to take the end off, role it while lighting and, most importantly, not to inhale.
We head out of Vinales today by bus again. Into Habana where we will catch a taxi to a beach called Playa Del Estes. It supposed to be a lot less tourtisty than Veradero which is full of Canadians. Nothing against Canadians but Playa Del Estes is where the locals go to beach it up so we thought we´d hit the beach but still keep a little Cuban flare about it and not head down the tourist path again...after Playa Del Carmen we had our fill. We will have three nights there then fly home. Habana to Cancun to Mex City to L.A to Auckland to Melbourne. Yay!!! Another 33 hours....not looking forward to that.
Sorry....no photos. Internet here needs to be hunted down and when you find them, there are about 5 in a row but only 2 work. They are on dail up. Massive big white screens that have faded yellow with time and a mouse that sticks. The keyboards have a lot of spanish keys that you have to avoid and Dim and I have a race to find the @ key.....it is never shift and 2. I will try to download some pics from Mexico city airport where the internet was fast and cheap....hey, got a spare four hours to kill there anyway.