Robaina's plantation

Thursday 29 November 2012

Cars of Cuba (5)

                Just back from Cuba and once again I've taken lots of pictures of the Classic Cars. My girlfriend says I must have taken a picture of every car in Havana but I think I still have a long way to go. Here's a collection of the best of the lot. I hope you enjoy them.

Partagas (the store) Havana Nov.2012

               Back again to my favourite cigar shop in Cuba amid a mini crisis and just prior to their main yearly event, the 'Encuentro de Amigos'. The Encuentro also takes place in April but this is the big one. Everyone was busy, which was normal for this time, with the preparations for the festival and they hadn't changed the prices on the cigar boxes yet. With the arrival of everyone in the next couple of days they were working overtime to change the prices before everyone arrived. Remember people, all cigars have gone up 10-30% but custom rolls, that is....cigars rolled by the house rollers, remain the same price as before. The new provisional director, Rene from the RyJ shop, was doing a fantastic job. I for one, wish him the best in whatever "the powers that be" decide. Throughout the two weeks I was there, he handled the situation stupendously and I consider him a new friend.
                No one spoke of the situation with Abel and I wasn't going to ask any uncomfortable questions. There was a lot of....."Life goes on" and it's true, life does go on and I was a witness to that. I did notice some people who were sad and will just leave it at that. In the end, people have a job to do and what's happened has happened. The store has my full support in whichever direction they take. After all, it is about the store is it not? It's a team and should be supported as such. Everyone in the shop has always been kind to me and nothing has changed in that respect. I hadn't participated it the "Encuentro" in a few years but it didn't miss a beat. It was a great time to spend with old friends from around the world and to make new ones. That is what it's all about for me.
                 I wished I could have sent you more info and pics while I was actually there but the Internet Connection is terrible and in the end I didn't want to waste my valuable time trying to connect when I could have been out in the streets getting more info to post when I got back home.

Partagas Factory and Store
Calle Industria no. 520
Behind the Capitolio building
Old Havana

Kiki, longtime friend, changing prices on the cigar boxes

Odalys makes the best Espresso in Havana and is a wonderful person

This is the calm before the storm

Stocked up with lots of Behikes

Lots of the Upmann Half Coronas around but not where I live

They can't be without their signature D4s

New freind Renato from Italy

Old freind Vince from B.C. Canada

Small part of the group from Italy

Baldo from Italy & Magali from England

Luna from Winnipeg, Canada (and another old freind)

My old freind Catherine from Belgium

New friend from my city, Toronto

Let's not forget the man in charge for now, 'Rene', current director of the shop & freind

Sunday 18 November 2012

Pinar del Rio (TODAY)

              Hello from Pinar del Rio. Everything and everyone is fine. The tobacco plants have been in the ground now for two to three weeks, depending on the plantion. Hurricane Sandy had no effect on Pinar del Rio and her treasure. It rained the other day but nothing major that could damage the crops. I found Hiroshi Robaina in good spirits and happy with the way things have been going the last while with his farm. As usual he had visitors from outside the country, Japan this time. I was also lucky to find his father, Carlos, visiting from Havana. Those of you who don't know, Carlos is the PR man at the Habanos LCDH at Quinta y 16. Tomorrow I'll be going to the Partagas shop to meet my friends from around the world and sign in for the Partagas Encuentro. Signing off for now but will be posting soon. I hope you enjoy the pics.