Days At The Farm With Hector Luis Prieto – Day Two

10 Jul

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A good night’s sleep and up with the roosters wake-up call, that’s how I started day two.

The farm was quiet in the early morning, only the roosters, chicken and other animals could be heard as I sat having a cafecito before breakfast. Really idyllic and just as I had imagined it to be.

It was a long breakfast, then a long cigar time with Hector and Miguel and conversations on proper cigar weights and other cigar issues.

Quiet 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 and at the entrance to sleepy San Juan is … Hoyo de Monterrey. So many times I had looked for this famed estate plantation and I had been so close all these years … as the Cuban saying goes : el mundo es un pañuelo 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 to have some soviet style blocks disfigure the view.

Then we drove on to Pinar del Rio, a city I’ve passed so many times by car but never had the chance to walk about and see properly.

Osmany took me to the Guayabita factory or rather : small distillery where I tried this local 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 and dancing away to the music I returned to my more liked and customary 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 at the LCDH. If not even Havana is being supplied what did I expect to find in Pinar ?

Pictures of my San Juan, HdM and Pinar del Rio tour will be shown in a separate post.

We returned to the farm and I had lunch followed by a shirtless afternoon ” a la cubana”. A few cold Cristals, a bottle of Guayabita and shirts off to shoot the crap on a sleepy Sunday afternoon. Music came up, one of the ladies started dancing by herself and I had to join, the music “remote-controlling” my knees and moving my feet.

Good fun !

A few cold Cristals to cool down, a cigar, then a shower and after a walk around the estate a conversation with Hector.

I was lucky I had Hector’s son’s novia or girl-friend take a series of good pictures of myself relaxing with a cigar before I returned the favour taking some nice shots of her and the family – sweet faces and great, very educated, interested, shy and well-behaved kids all of them.

It was a light dinner before getting into a long session of cigar smoking and discussing world affairs with Hector Luis and his lovely wife on the farm’s veranda.

He was smoking one of my custom rolled Salomones that he had taken a liking to and I shot a series of pictures that I am quite proud of and that he liked a lot – his profile and the ring of fire from the cigar being inhaled clearly seen. I passed all pictures next day before leaving for him to use.

What a lovely day and evening it had been. Company, conversation, fun, thoughtfulness, friendship, silence, good cigars and the stars above.

What more can you ask for ?

Gracias de nuevo hermano !










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