A Tour of Hoyo de Monterrey And Pinar del Rio

11 Jul

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Quiet overcast and humid Sunday on the farm, so I decided to take a tour with Osmany, one of Hector’s staff and father of the young lady tendering the bar, a very friendly man as all of Hector’s staff and most guajiros I know are.

We left with no hurry and drove to nearby San Juan y Martinez to fill up the car. Only 4-5 klicks from Hector’s farm, at the entrance to sleepy San Juan is … Hoyo de Monterrey. So many times I’ve looked for this famed estate plantation and I had been so close all these years … as the Cuban saying goes : el mundo es un paƱuelo y Cuba es un boton.

I had to see Hoyo de Monterrey and take some pictures despite the drizzle. What a sight ! The famed sign and driveway – only that some soviet style blocks on the grounds disfigured the view.

Then we drove on to Pinar del Rio, a city I’ve passed so many times by car but hardly ever had the chance to walk about.

Osmany took me to the Guayabita factory or rather : small distillery where I tried this liquor with the characteristic guayabita stone inside. It comes either sweet or dry and I took to the dry one – although after sharing half a (powerful) bottle at the farm with the guys that led to dancing away to the music I returned to my more preferred rum…

In Pinar we had a beer and a cigar and then I was left alone to walk the city for a few hours. I always wanted to check out the Vuelta Abajo hotel and I am glad I did, what a lovely building and great terrace for a drink and a rest.

I walked up and down the streets in the oppressive humidity and even went inside the Casa del Habano just to cool down a bit.

There was hardly anything worth looking at cigar-wise.

If not even Havana is being supplied with cigars what did I expect in Pinar ?




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