As the coach pulled into Vinales, a very small, sleepy but scenic town, the heavens opened and about a dozen of us gringós were dropped off in the town square with only an awning for shelter. Before we could even get our bags we were besieged by about 30 women all pleading for us to come and stay at their casa. They would shove little pictures of their place (or the view from within) in your face and jabber on in any number of languages hoping they would hit one you understand. I started talking to a cute little blonde number but Adz & Deb had already started negotiating with a dumpy little mama, nothing to look at (I thought) but at least the foods gotta be good.
As the rain was still teeming I suggested Adz go off and look with her as I didn’t want to drag the luggage only to find out it was no good. It so happened that while they were gone Deb started talking to another one which sounded good so when Adz returned and said it was so-so we grabbed the other one and by now the rain had subsided to a downpour so we were glad to find out she was only around the corner.
After settling in and drying off we went for a quick tour of the town only to find out we had already seen most of it. We had told Yamile (runs the casa) we would eat at home so when we got back in time for dinner we were presented with a fantastic lobster meal. We had really lucked in on this one ….this girl could cook. Needless to say as restaurants were scarce in this little pueblo, we ate home for the next 2 nights in this town. (1 x fish and 1 x lobster again).
The next morning Yamile had arranged for a guy called Felix to pick us up and take us horse riding. So when we got out the front the next morning and this guy asked us to follow him we were a little surprised. He ducked in between a few houses and before you know it we were out in the jungle and he had the horses saddled and ready to go. We spent the next few hours riding through some very scenic hills and the fact that the track was mostly mud or flooded from the previous days downpour only made it more interesting. About halfway thru the ride we stopped at some little shed in a field where another guy had prepared for us a great drink which consisted of cutting the top off of a grapefruit and pouring in some rum based liquid then throwing in a straw and start sipping. This stuff was great but it got even better when he started showing us some home-made cigars. Adz & I had had the opportunity to try some Cohiba and Monte Christo in Havana which were obviously quite good, but this home made stuff was brilliant.
Our last day in Vinales was spent at St Thomas’s cave. There are several caves in the area and we were advised to goto this one as it is not as touristy. After Jenolan and Vietnam I thought h0-hum another cave but I have to tell you this was fantastic and it was no walk in the park. We trapsed over about 3 of the 8 levels of the cave and they don’t make it easy for you like in the Jenolan…we had a ball.
The next leg of our Journey was to take us 12 hours on a coach to the south-east to a town called Trinidad…stay tuned.