Visiting Hector Luis And La Ruta Del Tabaco

17 Dec

Not having been to Hector’s Vega for a few months I was surprised at the substantial & speedy changes there when I visited with my friend Urbano this month.

The small cosy Ranchon has been enlarged into a mess-hall type restaurant that reminded me of El Aljibe in Havana with the staff at the bar and the restaurant now wearing uniforms.
And just as at El Aljibe we would find the tourist coach unloading a group of tourists for lunch.

The funny thing is that nobody in the 30/40 strong tourist group smoked – they were there just for lunch and took some pictures of Miguel rolling but that was it. To Do List : Lunch at a tobacco farm. Checked.

It’s easy to make fun of that or to bemoan the changes to the rustic image of the farm but that does not bring in the money needed to pay the staff and maintain the farm. And the new “La Ruta del Tabaco” programme has brought in a new and constant visitor stream to formerly unknown farms who sign contracts with tour operators to have people come in for lunch.

Welcome to the future. And as long as it is as tastefully done and without a garish circus, the proper way I see it done at Hector Luis, I have no problem with that.

We smoked a cigar and had a long conversation while lunch was going on behind us and Hector proudly showed us his cigar lounge next to the river.

It will be glass covered and have a/c due to the mosquitoes – that lounge looks fantastic !

Planting had just been done a week earlier and the outlook was very bright with hot days and cool nights and very little rain. A welcome respite from bad harvests. But due to climate change the planting had been done later than usual to avoid problems.

We had a long and quiet lunch as by now all tourists had departed and a fantastic farm rolled cigar in a 56 sized vitola, shiny, oily wrapper, packed and solid but with a beautiful draw.

Happy as always to be with Hector and share time with him.


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