Friday, May 10, 2013

Westward in Cuba

The state of Pinar del Rio is tobacco country. I left Havana and headed west for the city of Pinar del Rio, but left immediately for Viales and a reach for the beach. A few hours later I could only find a marina with a very expensive hotel. Back tracking to Viales was my only choice, where casa particulars are plentiful.

The casa owner provided directions to the beach. If course the directions were different than the route taken the day before. Minutes from Viales there is a mural painted on the side of a mountain. The painting is attributed to Diego Rivera. Later I heard the work was made by one of his students. With few exceptions there are charges to enter any attraction in Cuba. In this case the fee is 3 CUC. Those that pay the fee can access the interpretive center. Experience told me that presentations in these centers are almost always in Spanish. Sometimes there are abbreviated descriptions in English, but rarely. The full mural can be seen from outside, so I declined paying the fee and took a photo from road, then headed to the beach.

The beach is a short ride, about 40 minutes. After paying a 5 CUC fee to enter the playa, the road crosses a causeway to the beach. It is a touristic playa, with a restaurant, bar, beach chairs and small shaded "cabanas." Snorkeling equipment and sea kayaks are available to rent. A bathroom, changing room and shower completes the services. The water was amazing, clear and warm.

Over the course of the day buses arrived with tourists and locals. I talked to a three French people vacationing in Cuba. They are students in Mexico and took a break from their studies They said coming to Cuba was very an economical place to vacation.

A troop of locals showed up and took over the beach.The beach goers provided wonderful entertainment for the length of the day.

Back in Viales for that night, some of the ladies appeared at a bars, as dancers performing between the sets provided by a band.

No comments:

Post a Comment