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Published: March 29th 2016
LAS TERRAZAS: LIVING THE HIGH LIFE It was the road less travelled
- the panoramic, breathtaking, twisty-twervy, unmarked, you-are-bound-to-get-lost road less travelled. And we took it - a nondescript turn-off from the highway to Havana that led up into the desolate but beautiful highlands and then to the north shore. From there, the road snaked along thru El Rosario, Las Posas and Bahia Honda, pass raucous groups crowded around battling roosters. In more than four hours of driving, we only saw one other group of tourists. As the afternoon sun slid beneath the tree line, we turned our attention to finding a place to sleep and it didn't help that the pot-holed asphalt road had disintegrated into a tree-covered dirt track. We were lost
. Hopelessly so. But the lone farmer walking along the dark roadside with mud-caked clothes, a thread-bare cap and unrecognizable shoes seemed to know exactly where he was going. So we picked him up
. After giving us directions and a wave of his giant gnarled hands, he disappeared into the second bush around the bend.
It was pitch-black by the time we crossed the wide bridge that led into Las Terrazas - an eco-village and UNESCO
Biosphere Reserve - just a fancy way of saying a truly awesome nature reserve. As was our custom, we were without accommodation and the village's sole hotel - Hotel Moka - was pure luxury. We drove for a while around the narrow, winding streets of the terraces until we spotted a grandma in a window. She had an extra room - clean, comfortable and safe - and timely. We took it and that's where that story ends because that particular house was not a 'Casa Particular'.
The scent of fried eggs wafted thru cracks in the wall and made our stomachs growled. The food spread out on the backyard table was divine: eggs, homemade bread, guava spread, pure honey and biscuits. Satiated, we set out. Las Terrazas was gorgeous. A series of terraces dotted with white-washed houses and overlooking a placid lake ringed by verdant pine trees. The tree-covered hillsides hid hiking trails and a certain exhilarating canopy zip line - the only one in Cuba. For days, we hiked and explored, zipped on the high lines and feasted on the most amazing vegetarian foods and divine breakfasts.
And when our little white Hyundai rental crossed the bridge
out of Las Terrazas, we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we would be seeing that particular, picturesque eco-village again. 😊
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