remains of Sandy

600_8334-e_wDo you remember Sandy, the heavy hurricane in the Caribbean from December 2012? Well, Cayo Levisa also was hit quite hard. Many mangroves were removed from the shore, trees were cut and several other damages. The hotel, consisting of about 80 log cabins and a central house of stone with the reception and the dining room, didn’t show any damages.

I guess, it will last many years, until the nature recovers from that storm.

Take care!

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cooling down on Cayo Levisa

600_8510-e_wAs I wrote in my last post, it was quite cool on Cayo Levisa because of the wind after the storm over the sea. As you can see in the photos nearly no-one is on the beach and the wind brings high waves. Also, the palm branches are bent by the heavy wind.

Our stay here was planed for being a beach holiday with swimming, diving and snorkeling. Instead, I walked around wearing more clothes as during the last days and enjoyed the nature.

I attached a few more photos than usual in this posts gallery at the end of this post. I hope, you enjoy them.

Take care!

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transit to Cayo Levisa

600_8551-e_wCayo Levisa is a small island at the north shore of Cuba, right opposite to Florida. The bus needed more than two hours for the distance of about 50 kilometers from Viñales to the small ferry harbor, because of the very bad roads. The first 30 kilometers were quite fine, like most of the Cuban streets we saw. But, the remaining 20 kilometers were very bad.

We arrived quite early at the ferry harbor. While waiting for the ferry, we got notice of a  coming up very slowly. It seemed, the car’d have a technical problem. When the car finally arrived at the parking ground next to the bar where we were waiting, we noticed, the car was a rental car and 4 young ladies came off. They checked the engine and some more parts. Some Cuban people also looked for the car. As far as I understood, the front axle or a wheel was damaged because the driver didn’t pay enough attention to the street or was too careless. I don’t know about the end of the story, because the ferry arrived and we got on board for our passage to Cayo Levisa. About an hour later we arrive on Cayo Levisa.

Unfortunately the same afternoon we were able to see a heavy tropical storm on the sea and the sky became cloudy and gray – no more tropical feelings 😦 This kept on until the next afternoon, when the sun came back. But, with a strong and cold wind. Being at the beach was quite difficult. Strong tropical sun forced us to put some clothes away, but the wind forced us to up them on again. I’ll tell a bit more in my next post.

Take care!

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Cueva del Indio

600_7910-s_wis a cave near by Vinales. For an entrance fee of 5 CUC you can visit the first dry part of the cave and get a boat transit to a flooded part of the inner cave as well as getting transported to  the exit by boat.

The ground of the cave is covered by plan concrete and equipped by a few steps. Some passages are very low and you have to pass them ducked.

Tha cave itself is washed out by water and thus quite interesting.

It’s only a short stop near the road for about an hour or so. I guess, you need more time for all the gift shops at the exit after leaving the boat, then for visiting the cave itself. Btw. you can even only visit the gift shops without visiting the cave. But, in that case, you have to find the exit on you own. Hint: look for the parking ground (located left to the entrance) and you will see a bunch of small log cabins at the caves exit. You can also find a bar for getting a refreshment right next to the cave’s exit.

Take care!

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A hiking trip to Los Acuáticos

600_8178-e_wLos Acuáticos de Viñales is a tiny village at the side of one of the hills above the Valley of Viñales. The path to that village looks more like a dry riverbed than a path. It’s narrow, steep and stony. You really need solid shoes for that trip. And you need a local guid to find you way. Neither street signs nor direction signs will help you find this village. According to our guide, there are only about 12 people are still living in Los Acuáticos. 

The name was given to the village, when an old, wise woman lived there like a hermit. She was a healer and was assumed to be able to heal with water. In the rush time, there were 60 people living there. But now, since the old woman passed away several decades ago, more and more people moved away to find another place, where living is a bit easier. The remaining families are still farmer and work in their steep fields as you can see in the photo gallery at the end of the post. Continue reading

Visiting Viñales

600_7639-ec_wIn my last post I focused on the UNESCO world heritage, the valley of Viñales. Literally this valley ist named by the town nearby.

Viñales is a small town. A few tiny shops along the main street, the main square and a nice little church. From the visitors aspect, the town isn’t very interesting. But the valley itself is. So, Viñales is the perfect location for starting your exploration of this interesting valley.

In one of the smaller valleys you can also find an art project: mural de la prehistory. A photo is in the gallery below. One side of a hill is covered with a huge painting. It’s 120 meters high and 180 meters broad. The Mexican artist  Leovigildo González Morillo created it in 1961. Every few years this painting has to be refreshed, because the periodical heavy rains fades out the paint.

To watch this painting, you can go and pay an entrance fee. I didn’t. I my opinion it was enough, to see it from the street (path). But, have a look yourself.

Take care!

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Valley of Viñales

600_7644-e_wThis valley is a UNESCO world heritage. Valle de Viñales (in spanish) is located in the Piñar del Río Province in the north-west of Cuba. Being a world heritage means, people aren’t allowed to change the landscape. They are forbidden to build telephone or electricity lines by using pillars to hold them up in the air. So, you won’t see any of them in the valley. But, most, if not all, farms do have sun collectors for making their own electricity near by the houses. The people own different electrical devices. Not only devices in the kitchen, but also devices like radios or TVs.

The soil in the valley is very red. You might have noticed this in my earlier posts on tobacco farming. But in my photo gallery at the end of this post you can see, that I didn’t change the color in my photos accidentally.

Continue reading