Blogs from Pinar del Rio, Oeste, Cuba, Central America Caribbean

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Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Pinar del Rio January 25th 2019

Cuba Day 4. Thursday 24 Jan 19 Back out of village and left along valley heading west. Undulating for 10k followed by a lump of a hill Which had us losing water to evaporation in this humid climate with little breeze. I made an error previously about there being a thousand it so old American cars. They may now even equal Turkey Vultures and be in the several thousands. We see them everywhere. Today as we ventured further west we became more rural and vintage. There were nearly as many ponies and carts as there were small tractors including three carts pulled by two oxen, two of them piled high with stones. I suppose the highlight was seeing a chap ridging his crop with two oxen and a little boy of about 4 with him. As ... read more
Oxen at work
Factory still in use


Travel day back to Havana and the United States! Kirsten gave everyone an 8 am call to be ready and packed. And to our surprise, the minors were packed and ready. We had breakfast and waited for our 9 am ferry. Trying not to sweat our butts off. We had texted our cab driver who took us to the port on Wednesday to confirm that he could still take us to Havana. We got nothing from him so Kirsten got the receptionist to book us a taxi to the Havana Airport. We were still worried that our original guy might show up and were relived to not see his car when we got to the parking lot. Our new driver had Megan’s name and our room numbers on a piece of paper and we were excited ... read more


Last full day in Cuban paradise with nothing to do. We had breakfast, back to the room, changed and lubed up for the beach. Everyone had some part on their body over-exposed to sun. But for the most part, we were all doing well. Kirsten leaned that we could walk to a private beach. We were up for one more adventure. We headed down the sand to find the private beach. It was a good walk and we even had to take to the ocean to get around a bunch of dead trees to take up the path again. There was one sign that had an arrow on it and the word “bar”. Sweet! Think again, this is Cuba and our expectations needed to remain low. It was a private beach, and there was an area ... read more
with glasses
sitting with glasses
Who is the troll in the background


All our meals at this all-inclusive resort were buffets. We could handle that for three days. What we didn’t realize is that it was going to be the same exact thing each time. Not just the same type of food, but the actual food from the previous meals (leftovers). Breakfast was eggs made to order. So we had omelets with ham and cheese every day. The fresh fruit was awesome: pineapple, mango and bananas went fast. There were many things we just couldn’t bring ourselves to try. The meat sat out unrefrigerated by the grill and the following meal it was cooked and the third meal it was cut into smaller pieces. The bread would get more stale with every meal. The challenge became finding the 1 or 2 foods items that were new to that ... read more
Post Snorkle Photo
Sleeping out the rain
Dinner before the bugs


Pavel and Yudy made us a traditional Cuban breakfast of eggs, ham, fresh fruit, juice, toast and butter and coffee and jam. We keep forgetting to tell people that we don’t drink coffee. The cool thing about our breakfast was that they served it to us on the roof of their house. Rooftop patios must be new here, because many houses had the beginnings of making social areas on the roofs. It seemed as if every house in town has a room for rent. They all said whose house it was and how many rooms they had available. This is clearly a way for the Cuban people to earn a few extra dollars. Again, the outside of the houses were all the same and nothing special, but insides they are able to decorate and make them ... read more
Boat ride to Cayo Levisa
Finally hitting the beach
Waiting for dinner


First full day in Cuba. With our Air BnB, for a few extra dollars, Lidia will cook us breakfast! Yes. Scrambled eggs, toast and fruit make for a good meal. Kirsten has booked a guide and driver. Edinson is our guide and Michael is our driver. It is a little tight in the back seat, but the four squeeze into a blue Ford from the 50s that Michael found and restored to working condition. In restored we mean make run. The front seats were 2 bucket seats from a late 90’s Toyota. Like every old car in Cuba it definitely had a stereo system. And maybe some added electric windows. There’s no A/C, but we were not in the car that much. Basically, Kirsten and Chester would sit with one cheek on the seat, while Riley ... read more
View of Havana from the fort
A homeless poet (arent' they all?)
Cathedral in one of the squares

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Pinar del Rio December 2nd 2016

Today, friday, we took a long bus ride to the valley of Viñales. We still can't sing due to the period of mourning for Castro, so all our plans have changed. On our way to Viñales, we stopped in a village called Puerta de Golpe to.visit an interesting community project and make a donation of art supplies. Mario Peregrin founded this art program for young people in his village about a decade ago when a hurricane blew down the local theater along with other facilities for the youth. He provides a workshop for them to learn various types of folk art including painting and ceramics. We had a nice tour, met some of the artists, and other peiple who worked there. We were served a delicious lunch in the garden, surrounded by beautiful plants and interesting ... read more
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Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Pinar del Rio February 13th 2010

On the 13th we got up very early in the morning and after a nice breakfast, a bus picked us up from our hotel. Today, after two days of big city, we wanted to go to the countryside. We drove to the far west of the country, to the Pinar del Rio Province. Our first stop was at the farm of a Tobacco farmer, were we not only saw how tobacco is grown and dried, but we also had the chance to look into a typical farmhouse and how the people lived there. It was quite interesting. Then we went ahead to the Vinales Valley where we stoped on a outlook to take some lovely photos. We drove a short distant to the Mural de la Prehistoria and after a nice long walk, we stoped at ... read more
In the Vinales Valley
Mural de la Prehistoria
Mural de la Prehistoria

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Pinar del Rio February 9th 2010

After the hecticness of Habana I needed a few days to chill out. My couchsurfing friend David took me and another couchsurfing friend called David (a little confusing so I will refer to him as "German David") to visit his uncle in Pinar Del Rio. It is a region of Cuba to the West of Habana which is famous for growing tobacco, and also has beautiful countryside. David´s uncle has a farm just outside Pinar Del Rio town where he grows tobacco for sale to the government and subsistence crops. The land is owned by the government so in return for being allowed to farm rent free he has to grow for and then sell tobacco to the governement for rediculously low prices (despite being extremely valuable). The farm was fascinating: water was drawn from the ... read more
The Farm
Attempting to dig holes for banana trees
How it should be done

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Pinar del Rio February 5th 2009

Hallo mini Liebe. Mini Schuelzit da isch also eigentlich ofiziell fertig. Han aber no 1 Tag zum nahhole (aber das isch ae anderi Gschicht). Bin 2 Tag in Viñales gsi, han det ae haerzigi Roesslitur gmacht und jede Menge umwerfendi Natur gseh. Vo Viñales bin i daenn no uf Las Terrazas (woni grad im Moment bin) Das liet oepe i dae Mitti vo Habana und Viñales, chli i dae Baerge. Bin da immene HOTEL!, wo zmittst im Wald lit und mer dUmgaebig wunderbar chan zfuess erkunde. Das mach i jetzt daenn au gli. Am Namittag gahts daenn naehmlich scho wieder uf Habana zrugg. Det han i daenn ebae morn namal Schuel und am Samschtig gahts daenn au scho richtig Santa Clara und Trinidad witer. s Erschtemal daenn so richtig mit aem Rucksack unterwaegs. Gang mit aes ... read more
Vinales
Vinales




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