Tobacco, massage and even more food

Mending the roof of the tobacco drying shed
Mending the roof of the tobacco drying shed
Path through farmland
Path through farmland

The beds in our rooms here are probably the most uncomfortable we have had to date so, apart from the stomach trouble I had been having for the last few days, I didn’t sleep well because of the bed.

However, we couldn’t laze around as we were booked on a walking tour at 9am so had to get up and get going, with the aid of some Imodium in my case.

Our local guide for the day was quite arrogant and had obviously got his spiel down to a fine art, complete with jokes. We were joined by two Belgian girls, who are currently working as nurses on Aruba, so we enjoyed chatting to them.

Farmer's implement shed
Farmer’s implement shed
Tobacco leaves drying
Tobacco leaves drying

The walk took us through farmland, which was mostly tobacco plantations of 6 or 7 hectares and where oxen were being used to pull the carts of harvested leaves into the drying sheds. One farmer showed us how the cigars were rolled with three layers of leaves, the first being a bunch of leaves that had been dried for 3 months or more, the second being one leaf from the bottom of the plant and the last layer being a leaf from the middle of the plant, which has softer leaves and is therefore more maleable. They normally roll the cigars in the evening after the field work is done and would do about 100 or 150 per night.

Outside a house in Vinales
Outside a house in Vinales

After the walk, we stopped at the bar in the plaza and had a sandwich and people watched for a while. It was an excellent position for that as every man and his dog (or horse) went past.

We then returned to the casa for some rest and recuperation and I had a massage that I had booked, which was done by the owner’s sister in law. It was excellent, once I had worked out how to breathe with my face stuffed straight down into the bed clothes. No such thing as massage tables here! Deb had to be turned out of the room as well and had to sit on the verandah in the rain for an hour, which made me feel a little bit guilty! I’m sure the massage therapist would have needed a massage herself, as well, after bending over the bed for an hour.

Our evening meal was at an organic finca/farm and Tony had arranged our transport with one of the neighbours, who has a large old car that he uses as a taxi. The food was outstanding and excessive and we didn’t have to pay as we had a voucher to compensate for not staying at Las Terrazzas, as we should have done. Unfortunately, I ran out of stomach space quite early on so didn’t eat a huge amount. The goat casserole, onion fritter and creme caramel were excellent though and I am sure there were some well fed animals later on.

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