Robaina's plantation

Saturday 13 June 2015

Hector Luis Prieto Tobacco Plantation (San Juan y Martínez - Pinar del Rio) May 2015

                 On my current trip to Cuba I had to visit the Vinales and Pinar del Rio area for personal reasons and of course I took advantage and visited my friends as well. On my way to Hector's farm a huge surprise awaited me, the road leading to his farm has finally been paved. Those of you who have visited the farm know that the 2 kilometer strip of road that runs off the main road and leads to his house was a dirt and rocky course taking a long time to travel. Apparently it's all part of the 'Ruta del Tabaco' (Tobacco Route) that has been talked about for years. It will link together the farms of several growers (Hombre Habanos) in an attempt to promote one of Cuba's most coveted treasures, it's Tobacco. Tours will ply along this route and the road leading to the Hector farm was disgrace.
                  Another novelty I had found, once I reached the property, was that the accommodations that were being constructed to allow a few tourists to sleep on the property (legally) were completed. The house can sleep 4 and has it's own bathroom and a balcony overlooking the tobacco fields. I'm sure the view would be quite spectacular when the plants are tall during the winter months. The space itself is rudimentary but if you're a cigar nut and don't mind roughing it, the experience would be phenomenal. You could eat and drink on the property and live like a farmer...not quite, you would be a little better off but you know what I mean.
                 Something else that was new was that Hector was not in the greatest of health. He had fallen off a horse recently and broke a leg badly in several spots. He was in a wheelchair with his leg up that had two huge metal pins running right through the sides. WOW!!!! I fealt the pain the just looking at it. I found him in good spirits considering what he was going through. It was good to know that the operation was a success and it's assumed that everything will be ok once the pins come out. I told him it was a good thing it didn't happen during the harvest and to be thankful that it wasn't worse.
                 Miquel the house roller and friend was there and of course still rolling some amazing cigars this side of the country. When we arrived he was rolling some cannons, freehand because there was no mold that size that could accommodate a ring gauge that large.  
                  We didn't stay long but as always enjoyed our time there. It was good to know that things are progressing in the right direction and that even though Hector had a terrible accident, Cuba's healthcare system took care of him. I didn't take a picture of him because I wouldn't want one posted of me looking like that. If you look closely at the last picture in this Post, you'll notice him in the distance (his back) in his wheelchair.

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