Cuban Cities, Landscapes and People

Our trip to Cuba was not only to see birds but to meet people and, of course, see the landscape. We visited a few major cities but lots of stops in rural areas too, Havana, Vinales, Playa Giron in Zapata, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Santa Clara. Each place had its own flavor and history. Some of the traveling was easy, there were few vehicles on the road. Many roads were fine, while others were very bumpy. Havana was the most exciting city, a mix of old and new, some of it being restored but so many beautiful buildings in ruin.

Vinales

This is where we stayed in Vinales. It was a nice house and we had a room in the back. There was another attached house with more rooms. Breakfast was always included with the room. Lunch was also included in our trip and the enormous lunches became overwhelming. We told our guide that we no longer wanted huge dinner meals for lunch, in addition to the huge dinners. So, eventually it was sandwiches for lunch. Food was plentiful and delicious. We were very lucky, it rarely rained. After a brief downpour one afternoon we ventured out to a tobacco farm. That’s Jane on the porch.


Vinales is becoming a tourist destination and residents paint their houses in bright colors. The family living in the house were really nice and never minded our intrusion. We were glad to speak with them and get a glimpse of Cuban life.

Walking the road we saw this really nice residence. More than likely it caters to tourists like us.

Getting a haircut in Vinales.

Walking the road we saw this really nice residence. More than likely it caters to tourists like us.

This looks more like a residence that is not catering to tourists.

Local people waiting for the sun to come out.

Brightly colored places for tourists to rent rooms.

For the most part, Cubans don’t have their own motorized vehicles. Farms are plowed by hand or with oxen or horses. According to our guide, private car ownership was not permitted until a couple of years ago, but the price for cars is outrageous. A Peugeot sedan can cost $250,000 dollars!

Of course, if you had a car before the revolution you were lucky. Most of them are restored and used as taxis.

Newer cars on the road are from agencies or are rentals. There are lots of Russian Ladas and newer cars, made in China, that were quite nice.

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