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Cuban Tabaco fields in Vinales !

Published May 9th, 2013

Feb 2013, A friend I met in Cuba (Juan) and I drove the Vinales to explore the end of the tabacco harvest. I have to admit the place is one of the most beautiful mountain scenes I have scene. We stayed in a typical case particular. This is not 5 star accommodations but you get the real feel of Cuba at $20 cuc a night for the two of us. The woman of the house was happy to cook some of the best meals and for as little as $8 for the both of use. We spent the days walking the fields and talking to the farmers who were the most sincere people you can meet. Most would invite you in and hope you might buy a few cigars but it was not mediatory. One farmer hand rolled me a cigar and sparked a match. Was to date the best cigar I have had. I ended up going back and buying a stack of 15 or so for $20. They lasted me most of the trip. I wish i had not been so cheap. It was not unusual to be invited inside their homes offered coffee. sometimes i felt guilty taking up their time as they were always hard at work but they also were proud enough to show you how they life. These are some clean tidy farms held for generations. they sell 80% of their crops to the Government the remaining 20% they are allowed to sell on their own and can make a bit more money selling to tourists. I could never get a straight answer about how much they actually earned farming. the answer was always this year the government is paying a bit more. There homes were clean and cared for, many only recently getting electricity common to see a single solar panel shared by several homes. One farmer said he was happy to have it as it allowed him to listen to the ball games on his radio. In this area the water was filtered thru these large weeping stones set up in the kitchen. Having grown up on a small ranch I have always been found of farmers. I would trade for this life in a heart beat it looks romantic simple but hard. Always something to do but you have everything you need. In the USA we are always looking for the next thing you do not often find someone that is happy with what they have. These farmers seemed happy to be exactly where they were and living the life they live. Still using horses as transportation. The only down side was the mosquitos. I guess the locals did not worry about the mosquitos my room was filled with more mosquitos then you can imagine. The first night I sleep hid under my sheets trying to keep as much of my blood as i could. Juan laughed saying its just a little bug. I was lucky to find the only bottle of repellent in Vinales. Day two I know Juan said something because the mosquitos were gone to my joy. Vinales is the type of town you wish would never change it is so simple small and charming.

5

Tabacco farmer

Hard at work cutting the last of the field.

  • February 3rd, 2013
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 160mm / f/16 / 1/125 sec
5

Surveying the field

just taking a rest ...

  • February 3rd, 2013
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 153mm / f/11 / 1/30 sec
5

City of Vinales

Over view from the mountain side leading into Vinales.

  • February 3rd, 2013
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 70mm / f/8 / 1/250 sec
5

More tabacco

  • February 3rd, 2013
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 200mm / f/11 / 1/250 sec
5

Almost done

Last of the crop

  • February 3rd, 2013
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 100mm / f/11 / 1/160 sec
4

Kitchen stove

still cooking with wood fires out doors !

  • February 3rd, 2013
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 50mm / f/13 / 1/40 sec
5

drying shed field

  • February 3rd, 2013
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 50mm / f/8 / 1/500 sec

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