Monday, 12 December 2016
A Day at the Beach
I spent a few days in Vinales - a rural town in the north central countryside about 150 kilometres from Havana. Its a vibrant farming area - tobacco, coffee and sugar cane, but also a centre for tourism. There is a very fine beach on the north coast called Cayo Juntas which is a full day trip by "collectiveo" taxi. I was one of eight passengers in a Willys (famous for its world war 2 "jeeps") station wagon that was probably 60 years old. It was a deafening, rough ride that took 2 hours belching oily exhaust along the 60 kilometres to the coast. The road was in very poor condition so our driver was forced to gear down to a crawl and wander all over avoiding potholes.
Our driver pulled in under some trees behind the beach and we were free to walk along miles of white sand and find a place to sit, sketch and swim. Several other taxis showed up and a spear fisherman delivered a dozen fresh fish for them to roast over a fire. The drivers seemed to make a fine day of it visiting and sharing mechanical skills under several of their ancient car's hoods.