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After a good nights sleep at the casa and a typical Cuban breakfast of bread fruit and eggs we started out journey towards the west of Cuba for our stop at the beautiful town of Vinales. On the way we had the opportunity to stock up at a supermarket in Miramar - stock up is slightly optimistic unless you had tinned vegetables and rum on your shopping list - but it was an interesting insight into daily life in Cuba.

December 20, 2017

The trade embargo that still exists in Cuba means that shortages in shops and supermarkets are common for many Cubans on a day to day basis. The system in place ensures that all Cubans receive a nominal wage of approximately 25CUC a month(about£20) and also a ration of basic foods such as rice and sugar per person per month. Yazel informed us that everything we had heard about Cuban food, the lack of variety and flavour, was true! So we prepared ourselves for a week of beans and rice, but we did have get some tasty treats along the way. 

 

 

First view of the Valley of Vinales and a very delicious Pina Colada 

 

Indian Cave - a chance to explore inside the limestone landscape and check out the stalactites, stalagmites and columns in this cave. 

 

 

 

Tobacco cacao coffee farm - Our first chance to see one of Cuba’s most famous exports being produced - cigars. The climate of Vinales and the rust-red soil provides the ideal growing conditions for the tobacco and we had the opportunity to see how the leaves are grown, dried, blended and then rolled to create the cigars. 

 

 

Prehistory Mural - Don’t be fooled by the name (I was), rather than being a very old cave painting, it is actually a mural of very old things. Created by one of Fidel Castro’s comrades, Leovigildo Gonzalez Morillo, in 1961 to depict the theory of evolution. Impressive due to the scale and the work that went into creating it and maintaining it, but surprising in terms of the content. 

 

The photographs don't do it justice but this is evidence of Salsa dancing. The club cost just 1 CUC to go into and it was amazing. It seems like dancing is just second nature to everyone in Cuba - I’ve got a lot to learn. 

 

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