The weather again cooperated for Dawn Patrol. The rain that had fallen during the night had given way to clear skies and warm temperatures. The remnants of the rain slick streets gave us the opportunity to capture many beautiful reflections! On this morning, we headed out of our hotel to walk the dark, early morning streets somewhat away from the center of Old Havana.
Today we had the opportunity to visit world-renowned metal-sculptor , Raul Valladares, in his countryside home/shop. We also met his delightful wife who was herself an accomplished potter (see tennis shoes) as well as a gifted baker of the most tasty of treats. To our delight, she prepared fresh pastries for us in her professionally equipped home bakery.
We left Raul’s home and made a 30-minute stop in Santa María del Rosario. This was a delightful country village…a real feeling of community here. We visited the church, the school and toured the small shops in the village.
Now off to the abandoned Hershey sugar factory. This was a huge facility before Castro nationalized it in 1959. The buildings of the factory have declined over the last 62 years; the main building was completely abandoned in 2002 and the other large building appears to house parts for the aging electric railway. We spent a couple hours here, walking the acres of land and imagining the hustle and bustle that was once part of this thriving community.
We ended the day having lunch at Chicken Little (I was originally concerned about this name- and the restaurant’s logo—but the food was very good). While waiting for lunch, the sky emptied and the torrents of rain necessitated the cancellation of our trip to the beach at Playa del Este. This proved to be the only rain induced change of plans for the entire week in Cuba.
Tomorrow: Guest Blogger Randy Cole- How to Make a Cuban Cigar, Tohiba Cigar Tour