A Travellerspoint blog

CUBA - Viñales

(Day 5 - 9)

sunny 30 °C
View Round The World Map on kostlin's travel map.

The 3.5 hr bus journey west from Havana to Viñales was stunning. The landscape lush and rolling with plenty of palm tree groves everywhere we looked.

We soon arrived in the small sleepy village of Viñales to a waiting mob of about 40 touts; each trying to get your attention to use their home for accommodation. (They are quite crafty and will often even tell you that the casa you were looking for doesn’t exist anymore!!). Nevertheless, you feel their desperation for money to be coming in.

Every house has a couple of rocking chairs on the porch, where the locals sit back with a cigar and watch the world move past very s-l-o-w-l-y. We ended up doing the same at some point as 4 days was far too much time there!

_MG_4698.jpg IMG_4704.jpg IMG_5220.jpg _MG_4687.jpg IMG_4703.jpg IMG_5191.jpg

Their little houses in the countryside are really gorgeous even though tiny. So far the one thing we have noticed in both towns is the lack of important status divide. They seem, from the outside at least, to be at more or less the same level.

IMG_4726.jpg IMG_5208.jpg_MG_4695.jpg

We’d like to hear more about the country’s politics but it’s been quite hard discussing this in my broken Spanish! One thing is certain though we don’t see it much from the outside, is that they have many many restrictions here. Cubans, for example, aren’t allowed in internet cafes let alone have internet at home. When asked why, the casa owner’s son says “It’s just the way it is and we accept it”.

Anyway, back to Viñales! We spent 2 days exploring the caves and touring around the valley, which is an official national park, it has intriguing limestone hillock and mountains jutting out.

_MG_4826.jpg _MG_4807.jpg _MG_4804.jpg IMG_5245.jpg _MG_4831.jpg IMG_5221.jpg

In these villages, a horse or oxen cart is just as important as having a vintage American car and generally it’s quite harmonious to experience the mixture. Then comes good old Fidel who decides to commission a 50meter high, garish mural to be painted on the face of one of the mountains and destroys the whole feeling of being in a small, rural, lush village.. Cuba, land of contradictions they say..

_MG_4720.jpg IMG_5237.jpg _MG_4836.jpg _MG_4878.jpg _MG_4865.jpg IMG_4870.jpg
IMG_5235.jpg _MG_4859.jpg _MG_4688.jpg

On one of our days there, we decided to take a day trip to a beach called Cayo Levisa, about 1hour away by car, and a further 30min by boat to get there from Viñales. Crystal clear water, picture perfect beaches and surroundings, unfortunately it was a bit windy but still very pleasant.

_MG_4793.jpg IMG_5258.jpg IMG_5253.jpg IMG_5254.jpg IMG_5270.jpg IMG_5268.jpg

We left on Monday on a 7hour bus journey via Havana then South East to Trinidad. This was meant to be a shorter ride but the driver picked up and dropped off several of his friends and stopped along the way for his own breakfast and snacks and then decided to have a huge lunch over 1.5 hours when the stop was supposed to be 30min long. This just seems to be the way here, no one cares and if a friend can get a freebie, so be it!!

Posted by kostlin 07:25 Archived in Cuba

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

Steph and Martin you are having a fabulous trip.... i keep on reading your adventures like reading a wonderful book....

waiting for the pics

karine & johann

by karine Wade

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint