We have now spent our first two weeks in Havana and about the spend the next two in Playa Girón – where there is no wifi, so I will next update you from Trinidad in 2 weeks.
This week we have continued with our Spanish and dance lessons. We took a tour around Havana in an open top vintage car and saw the main sights of the city in style.
This weekend we went to Viñales – a rural town located amidst tobacco fields, coffee plantations and the mountains. This was a completely different experience to the bustling streets of Havana; a tight community where the people live a tranquil and almost completely self sufficient life. We stayed with families in their houses, eating their food produced entirely from their gardens in which we sat – being able to speak with these people about the changes that tourism has provoked in their town was fascinating and allowed us to put our Spanish to the test!
We trekked on horseback to a local tobacco plantation where we learnt about the government regulations over the tobacco, and learnt how the famous Cuban cigars are made and smoked. The next morning we walked into the hills to watch the sunrise and then cycled to go swimming in the natural water pools around the mountains and caves.
We now have the afternoon back in Havana before leaving for the beach tomorrow to start the volunteering programme. We will be hunting lion fish and helping them improve the local infrastructure, as well as visiting beach bars, snorkelling and a little more salsa dancing!