Sunday, August 23, 2015

Notes from Cuba, Part 3: Tobacco

Notes from Cuba, Part 2 >
Notes from Cuba, Part 1 >

Hotel Nacional: Cigar Aficionados

This post combines drawings form several places in Cuba, with one unifying theme: tobacco!
Below, there are drawings from a trip to the small town Viñales in the Pinar del Río Province of Cuba, where we visited one tobacco plantation, smoked freshly rolled cigars, got soaked in the rain and saw a lot of countryside beauty. Then, there are drawings from Havana's Cohiba tobacco factory. And at the end, there are drawings of cigar smokers at Havana's Hotel Nacional. I smoked my first cigar in Cuba! And I liked it.


From the bus: scenery en route to Viñales
From the bus: scenery en route to Viñales
Two emaciated horses at a pit stop
On the streets of Viñales: house renovation
On the streets of Viñales: ox-driven cart

On the streets of Viñales: horse-driven fruit cart
From the bus: Tobacco drying house.
Tobacco plantation in the rain

Inside the tobacco drying house: rows and rows of tobacco leaves.

Rolling tobacco at the plantation for the tourists to try.
Tourist enjoying freshly rolled cigar.

From the bus: en route from Viñales

 Man on an ox under a banyon tree
Ox under a banyon tree

Cohiba Cigar Factory in Havana

The tour through the Cohibo cigar factory was brief, no photos allowed. Rows and rows of workers at old wooden "stations" with cigar presses get paid per cigar, and have a weekly allowance of 2 cigars to take home. Sometimes they listen to the radio, and other times they are being read to. The list of books, according to the guide, includes Shakespeare. But the current book, we were told, is "Fifty Shades of Gray". Go figure...

Hotel Nacional, Outdoor Bar

Hotel Nacional: cigar aficionados

Hotel Nacional: Late night at the bar

Hotel Nacional: dance party