13 May – images of rural Cuba


May 30th, 2018


Cuba, North Atlantic 2017 – 2019

Written by

Richard Farrington

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By Richard. Posted on May 30th, 2018 in Cuba, North Atlantic 2017 – 2019.

23:05.3N  082:30.1W

On Sunday, our last day in Cuba, we returned to Marina Hemingway via an UNESCO biosphere reserve called Las Terrazas.  Amidst thick forests, there’s a beautiful lake, an ancient coffee plantation with commanding views to Havana and beyond, an arty village full of ordinary farm workers but crammed with studios, artists workshops and a very nice little organic vegetarian restaurant which would not have been out of place in Covent Garden. What a treat!


Two ‘artistes’ on a fag break at Viñales


A Cuban smallholding near Viñales


A hummingbird in her nest in Viñales


Need a lift?

Back at the boat, I had time to settle the mooring fees with the harbour master and arrange for a late night departure before it was time to get back in the car and race into Old Havana to see that much anticipated contemporary dance show.  The theatre was beautiful: an old building, very stylishly restored and clearly a showpiece of Cuban art.  The show?  Beautifully choreographed, immaculately executed, supported by a high quality orchestra, but utterly impenetrable as a work of art.  None of us could agree what the storyline was (if indeed there was one) or what the ‘message’ might have been.  Did that matter?  Not really… it was great to watch and a privilege to attend.

From there, we headed into town and a trendy restaurant in an old brick factory called El Cocinero.  A very slick operation, offering high quality food at really affordable prices.  No wonder it was packed.  Then back to the boat and a fond farewell to Micky and Rafia who were so wonderfully hospitable, really good company and who gave us such a balanced insight into this remarkable, highly complex country.  The embassy of Pakistan might be one of the smaller missions in Havana, but it was clear that the team there are well attuned to the challenges of modern Cuba.  For me, it was also a great opportunity to re-engage with the fascinating politics of Pakistan, a country widely misunderstood around the world, hamstrung by internal struggles of many kinds, but with so much to offer.


Tobacco leaves drying

We sailed at 2300 for Key West.  The security guard at the Marina seemed sorry to see us go; the Customs officials were delightful (quite unlike the watch that greeted us a few days earlier) and we were soon looking back at the lights of Havana.


Off to market