Havana In Winter – Part Three – Cigars, Hector And The Vatican

21 Dec

Christian had left without being able to visit the Vatican as, due to some dumbass posting stupid comments on Facebook regarding the Talismanes release in London a week earlier, all visits there were cancelled and the saints had to pay for the sinners ….

I never cease to be amazed by the stupidity of some people when posting on social media about Cuba and/or getting cigars there.

But then, after another run-in with my favourite dumbass, Herr Ober-Zigarren-Gruppen-HeiniĀ  a.k.a. Davi ReBander at Espacios, seeing he could not control the Pavlov-dog-like urge to shake his brainless head at seeing me with my friends having fun, I accept that stupidity is endless, just as Einstein claimed.

In the end a visit to the Vatican materialized and both Jan and Anthony were able to pay their respects to the Holy Grail.
Most interesting and valuable was the sight of more new white oak fermenting barrels and the most professional dedication on quality. Fascinating to follow this experience now for many years and see the changes.

We visited my friend Hector Luis at his tobacco farm again and had the pleasure to spend half a day with my friend Jaime who’s now part of the farm and certainly looks the part of a landed farmer.

Planting this year has been mostly later than usual, with Hector planting the seeds third week in November – but when driving through the Vuelta Abajo we also saw some fields with tobacco plants that were already quite tall, so there is no co-ordination on planting but it is rather done by instinct.

After Jan & Lili left I had some quiet days with Anthony & Maegan but due to it being cool and windy all beach time I had was a couple of hours at Le Mare, the paladar by the beach in Guanabo.

The last week then was spent basically chilling around with good friends like Punch Joe, Alejandro, Emrah at Cuba Pasion, Juanita my love – who opened the doors at the Riviera Hotel to show us the “frozen in time” Ballroom, Bar and the Restaurant. Amazingly preserved, it was like stepping back in time and I wouldn’t have been surprised if Meyer Lansky had shown up to kick us out ….

Another surprise was seeing La China rolling again, she has been plagued by inflamed joints and it was good to see her back rolling great cigars.

I stayed on the celebrate a good friend’s birthday in early December but that dinner was very quiet as his big Labrador had been put asleep a few days earlier and he and his family were painfully depressed.

I took him out for a bottle of Rum, nothing like some fantastic “Estacas” smoked with good cigar friends under a Mango tree to make him feel better again. Even I was sad as that dog was part of my Cuban family.

We will have to repeat soon – the Mango tree, a bottle of Rum and some good Estacas are waiting for us.







2 Responses to “Havana In Winter – Part Three – Cigars, Hector And The Vatican”

  1. joe 27/12/2017 at 20:37 #

    Nice pictures and a wonderful read. I viewed some pictures of the Hotel Riviera they have posted on their website. It is certainly a time capsule! There was a series called Magic City on Starz (2012-2013) that must have copied the decor of the Riviera Hotel. Magic City was a 2 season show about the mafia in Miami circa 1959, just after the Cuban revolution.

    • Nino Munoz 27/12/2017 at 22:07 #

      Thank you for your comment Joe !
      As it is the Riviera Hotel is certainly a “Time Capsule” frozen in 1959.
      I am just sorting out some more pictures from inside the Riviera Hotel for a post that I will call “Frozen In Time”, showing pictures of the old Casino, the Ballroom, the Bar, Restaurant etc.
      Give me a few more days.
      Regards Nino