Almost six months ago I took a trip of a lifetime to Cuba (if this is your first time reading my Cuba coverage, please read this first!). Viñales was the last stop on our Cuba tour (if you don’t include our second trip to Havana), and it was a whole other side of Cuba – one much further removed from vibrancy and vintage cars so prevalent in Havana and Trinidad. Here, oxen pull carts, and horses are a primary method of transportation. The land is lush, and despite government claims to the contrary, fruitful.
This is where the tobacco is grown, for a prosperous export industry. It’s also here where the government claims the soil is no good for a prosperous agricultural industry (despite plenty of evidence to the contrary) instead, Cubans across other parts of the country rely on imported beans and rice from China as a daily staple. Small movements across Viñales are feeding locals from homegrown produce, such as the farm (and restaurant) we visited. This farm is fruitful enough to feed the family who owns it, the workers who run it, the tourists who visit it as well as the local hospital, orphanage and old persons home. A microcosm of what a Cuba independent of China and Russia could be (more on the farm here)
Tobacco Farm, Viñales.
Horse Riding and the Valley of Viñales.
Organic Farm, Viñales.
In the Farm Kitchen.
At the Farm Table.
More on Cuba and the return to Havana to come, in the meantime read more of my Cuba coverage:
Cuba: Beyond the Cars and Cigars.
Bay of Pigs, Cuba