I am not a fan of tobacco, no matter the form, but Cuban cigars have a special allure. The sale of Cuban cigars is still illegal in the U.S.and with the current administration, not something likely to change any time soon. But, since tobacco is one of Cuba's main crops our tour naturally included a trip to a tobacco farm in the countryside. On the way, at a rest stop, I even got to pose with a few hard working farm animals!
We learned that the government (they own everything, remember?) takes 90% of the harvest and produces the cigars, that are still rolled by hand. The farmers get to keep 10% and they mostly sell those to tourists. The government also incurs all the costs too so it's an interesting situation. There is some interesting information on the site Cubano Cuba you might enjoy reading.
The drying tobacco is absolutely beautiful in various shades of browns, golds and greens and many photos were taken. We were treated to a demonstration of how the cigars are rolled and of course I purchased a handmade bundle as a souvenir and to share with friends who would appreciate it. We had time for a sketching lesson with Jane after lunch at the nearby La Rosita Restaurant with dogs and chickens wandering in and out.
|Me and the oxen|
|The tobacco plants have the prettiest pink flowers!|
|Tobacco leaves drying|
|In the tobacco barn|
|Tobacco farmer demonstrating how a cigar is made|
|Finca (Estate) Agro-Ecologica - Secodero de tabaco (Tobacco dryer)|
|Tobacco Drying Barn|
|La Rosita restaurant|
|Houses near the tobacco farm|
|Our dinner spot|
|Lobby inside home / turned restaurant|
|Drinking rum and smoking cigars!|