Today we headed to Las Terrazas, a UNESCO Biosphere reserve, that was once stripped of trees for farming, but is now reforested and rich in biodiversity. We were greeted with a welcome cocktail, and some fantastic music. These guys were jamming out for just us, at say 9am-ish.
Our Cuban guide showed us a rationing card, and then we visited a bodega. In Cuba, supplies are still rationed, but a lot of what they need is now purchased in the free/black market. At this bodega, one shelf has regulated products, while the other has released/freed products. Sugar is an example of a regulated product, or one that is still rationed, while beer is available, but at cost. The rationed items did have a, “symbolic cost” (very low), which basically is the government’s way of telling its people that the items have value and cost, while still making them available to all. There was a time when rum and tobacco were rationed, but now its pretty much the bare necessities. As you can see on the card, you can get fish and eggs too.
The we got to visit Las Terrazas’ community pharmacy, dentist, and doctor. Cuba has a multi-tiered medical system, and this local doctor would more than likely be one’s first stop.
We also got to visit the local daycare/preschool, and leave some gifts for the children.
At Cafe de Maria, we were given several exotic choices of coffee drinks, and seating in a beautiful venue. I had a coffee with a local liquor, while my wife had an iced coffee with local spices. Both were amazing. A fellow traveler asked for, “descafeinado.” The waiter looked at her incredulously, smiled, and said, “Only good coffee in Cuba.” I was amused, I don’t think she was.
We got to see Lester Campos’s art studio, and the home of Polo Montanez. Then we enjoyed a nice lunch and some music.
My wife played the pregnancy card and got two desserts. Then we headed back to the hotel in Havana. We had a little free time, so I lit up a Hoyo Epicure No. 2, and then we decided to get some sun. The cigar was the perfect pool and pool bar smoke, and we enjoyed a short respite from our busy itinerary.
That evening we went up the road to the home and studio of Jose Fuster, the world renowned Cuban painter and ceramicist. He and his son gave us a tour of the property. Then we sat down to dinner at Fuster’s house, and were serenaded by Fuster himself. He also predicted that my first child will be a masculine child…
We got back to the hotel happy, full, but exhausted. An a cappella group that had just got back from a tour ending in San Francisco was performing, and they were quite good. I lit up a Partagas serie D No. 4. It was a rich, spicy, and flavorful way to end the night. We managed to call a few friends on facetime via the hotel wifi. I nubbed the cigar, finished my Cuba libre, and we called it a night. What an amazing day.This entry was posted in Brown Sauce, Cigars, Food, Music, Style, Travel by rsiv with no comments yet