I didn’t spend much time outside of Havana, but the few days I did were significant in order to remove myself from the chaos of the city. One afternoon in a quiet fishing village to the east, a visit to a local beach, and two days in Viñales were enough to give me a small taste of what awaits me on my next visit to this country. Viñales is a town that thrives on tourism and tobacco farming set in a beautiful valley on the western side of Cuba. The mountains around reminded me of Vietnam, and the locals were all very friendly and happy for a quick chat and photo.
Día de San Lázaro
The day of San Lazaro sees thousands upon thousands of people from all over Cuba descend on the small town of Rincón, located in the outskirts of Havana. A five kilometer walk symbolic of a pilgrimage is made to the main church where a continuous service is held. Certain devotees asking the saint for large miracles, exchange promises in order to have their wishes fulfilled. It is common to see people walking on their hands and knees, or pushing stones, in order to show their devotion to the promise.