I’ve written a bit about Havana and Vinales, a small town to the south west of Havana that is popular with tourists, largely because of its nearby national park.
Here are some pictures I wasn’t able to post before. There will be more in the next few days — about Cienfuegos, music, casas particulares (bed and breakfasts).
The 1952 Ford I drove to Vinales in. The driver had wired all of the windows to operate automatically with switches on the dashboard.
An orchid bush! On the way to Vinales we stopped at the town of Soroa to pick up a couple of German tourists. This was in the front yard of the place they were staying and outside their little cottage was a bush of orchids.
A view of the valley where Vinales is located. Later in the day I walked through the valley to a huge mural on a mogote that took us past the tobacco farm in this picture. The large structure is not the house but the tobacco drying shed.
Vinales is famous for its mogotes, vegetation covered rock formations that look like they’ve been plopped on the valley floor.
A type of palm tree, I guess, by the side of the track through the valley.
A farmhouse in rural Vinales Valley, Cuba.
This is Rydel, our guide. We stopped at this little roadside stand for a cold drink before we arrived at our destination.
Our destination, the prehistoric mural. It was a bit of a disappointment because the only thing prehistoric about it was the rock. We had expected fossils although a careful reading of the tourist bumpf doesn’t promise that. It was painted as a tourist draw, which is what it does. You pay to enter, there’s a restaurant there and a souvenir store and numerous tourist buses visit it every day.
People are taking advantage of the changes that allow them to set up private businesses. Besides fixing up spare rooms, or even building separate houses for paying guests, there are other examples. Behind this table is a man repairing cell phones and accessories. He’s set up on the covered sidewalk outside another business. Over to the right is a woman who is doing manicures. Both of them seem to have lots of business.