Together with 6 others from Denmark, Switzerland, Hungary and France, we left Havana to go to Viñales. About 30 minutes before arrival we stopped at a little plantation where they told us all about the tobacco fields and you could try of their cigars. Romain did of course :). We continued our trip and when we were dropping of two of the other passengers, I saw the sign of our casa next to theirs: Casa Lucy & Bartolo. So weird, since their address was completely different than ours. They changed the names of the streets apparently a while back so all taxi drivers are confused :).
Bartolo, our host, came outside. He showed us our room, and within 10 minutes we had a delicious brunch in front of us. Rice, black beans and a tortilla. He arranged straightaway that we could go horse back riding in the afternoon. In the sun luckily, cause when the sun is gone it is pretty chilly all of a sudden.
Tequila went well with the rum 🙂
The horseback riding was great! First we got a little tour at the plantation. The guy showed us how they roll cigars. Romain tried it again, but this one was a bit different. They put honey around the part you put in your mouth. By the looks of it, it didn’t necessarily add to the taste ;). After the cigar tasting, it was time to saddle up! We got Morro and.. Tequila! How nice 🙂 We didn’t really had to do anything, they knew where to go. We went into the plantations where they grow all kinds of fruits: bananas, pineapples, mandioca, mangos, avocados and what more. Great views, especially when we went downhill and we saw the overview of the land with the mountains in the background. Down the hill we stopped and got a little tour – literally, the tour was over in 5 minutes – to see how they make coffee. But that was okay, I did the extended version already in Colombia and Laos :). But instead of letting us taste the coffee they made, we got the local rum (and honey). We got a shot and ordered a sweet cocktail. The guide put the bottle of rum on the table and said: “Put more if you think it is too sweet.” So we did, Romain more than I of course. Oh, and another shot with the tour guide. Luckily Tequila went well with the rum and I managed to stay on the back pretty good :).
Our neighbours went for salsa dancing in the evening, but I completely missed it. The horseback riding and the drinks together made me pass out completely! I slept for a full 12 hours that night. The next day we didn’t do much. We slept some more and since my allergy was reacting to the blanket I used at night, my nose was running like crazy and I got a really bad headache. Also a good chance to give my butt some rest haha, Tequila took its toll. Apparently I had to use my toes more during saddle back riding, I had no idea.
Caio Jutias & salsa dancing with the experienced
After waiting for our pick up to go to Caio Jutias, we had a fun two-hour ride with a group of travelers. A Polish couple, an Austrian couple, a French couple and a Spanish girl. Arriving at the beach everyone was like ‘Waaauuww!’ Perfect blue water, not a cloud in the sky, white sandy beach and small bars to get cold refreshments. We hung out with the Austrian couple and had a fun day with beers and mojito’s. Just see the photos :).
Around 4pm we headed back again and after a quick snooze and another lovely dinner prepared by Bartolo, we met again with Martin and Lisa, the Austrian couple, to go salsa dancing. Or well, I did. Romain couldn’t handle the sun and booze that well and slept through all the fun. Also the Polish couple joined for a bit and we all danced. I ended up dancing with a 70-year old guy and all the other guys were like “Why you do want to dance with hum and not with us!” Hehe, my response was ‘op een oude fiets moet je het leren’, which is a Dutch saying that somewhat means that it’s always better to learn it on an old bike. Let’s just keep it with that 😉