I could almost swear it was pouring the whole night yesterday – I really hope we won’t get that much bad weather at the ongoing trip during the day… We arrived before Hurricanesaison here, so it shouldn’t be so bad, right? We pack our stuff – and have to hurry with breakfast. Incidentally we mention the “Cooperativa de Tobacco-experience” we had yesterday. Roly has to grin: That is really an ancient ploy to trick tourists – if we want to buy cigars, he tells us, we should do it in Vinales anyways, since we can choose between many different brands which are either packaged in boxes or individually and we can be sure that we get good ones. The downside is, that we have to carry them around for the whole remaining trip… Roly calls us a taxi. While we are waiting on the balcony, I can see the fallen stonework on the street below – this could have ended our trip quite abruptly.
The taxi driver takes us for 10 CUC (10.00 USD) to the bus station – we had written down the times of the Viazul buses beforehand and are quite early. Tickets to Vinales are 12 CUC (12.00 USD). On a poster behind one of the desks, I discover one of the oldest memes: Limecat. I can now fully entrust this bus company with my life*.
9:00 – We start right on time, first through the streets of Havana, then to the Autopista. This road seems to be a mixture between country road and highway: Some “kinda” three-lane road with a kind of “emergency lane”, but it seems you can actually drive on just a few of these lanes: A lot of potholes, partly patched up, having missing road markings and a colorful mixture of all kinds of vehicles driving on it (non-motorized vehicles included). Hitchhiking seems to be quite common in Cuba. Usually you get to see lots of people standing at the edge of the street, waiting for a ride (and signaling by waving with bank notes that they could also pay). This seems to work rather with (collective) taxis however… I’m noticing a particularly positive way the cleanliness of the road trenches. There are lots of other countries you can find lots of carelessly thrown away garbage. Not in Cuba. Strange. We make a short break at at a service station near San Cristobal before heading towards Pinar del Rio. Some of the passengers get off here – we continue to Vinales.