2019-06-19 Hostal Luz, Havana to Homestay, Villa Las Palmitas, Vinales Valley, Cuba

A very early start for us and the wonderful team at Hostal Luz are there to say goodbye
Our guide arrives at Hostal Luz and by taxi with him we travel south west from Havana to the Vinales Valley
During the 2.5 hour journey we stop for a coffee at Las Barrigonas which is a popular tourist stop with a restaurant and facilities
We pass all sorts of vehicles on our journey!!
Finally we arrive in the small town of Vanales and make our way to the homestay which was booked for us
We arrive at our homestay accommodation, Villa Las Palmitas and are greeted by the house owner and her daughter
Homestays are very popular in Cuba and our travel agent suggested we try a couple during our visit here
Soon after we settled into our accommodation, a young man arrived who was our tour guide for an 8 km walk through the Vinales Valley
We set off passing numerous quaint and colorful wooden dwellings
An easier and less strenuous method of visiting the stunning valley would have been by horseback
The scenery certainly was spectacular
With the heat and high humidity we were pleased to stop on the way to get some refreshments
At this time of the year there is high humidity and at times quite heavy rain which causes some of the paths to become quite muddy and hard to negotiate
The rich red earth is wonderful for the tobacco and other crops that are grown here in the Vinales Valley
Our walk takes us through numerous tobacco plantations
A cigar smoking horseman!!
At one of the farms we are given a demonstration on how the famous Cuban cigars are made. Ric decides to sample one of the local products!!
We return to the township of Vinales after our long 2 hour stroll through the stunning Vinales Valley
We have a lovely view over the lush fields of the Vinales Valley
Beside us in the restaurant we have some quiet company
We enjoyed a light lunch and a refreshing drink after our interesting excursion
Back to our accommodation at Las Palmitas where we enjoy a relaxing afternoon
Our hosts offered to cook dinner for us this evening and a table was set up on the small rooftop terrace
We had a lovely view of the limestone mountains which surround the Vinales Valley
A delicious soup was served followed by fresh salad, baked potatoes and vegetables
Next came some grilled fish
…… followed by delicious grilled lobster which is very popular in the area
With a nice glass of wine we enjoyed the food and the lovely setting
Mangoes and bananas are very popular fruits grown in Cuba …. a perfect dessert
We had a lovely evening and really appreciated the delightful and abundant food that was prepared for us by our hosts

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