Monday, March 6, 2017

A Day in the Country

Friday, 3 February 2017

Friday saw us on a field trip to the King Ranch outside Camaguey, and yes, you read that right. The King Ranch ultimately ran cattle not just in the US, but in Venezuela and, yup, Cuba.

Today the ranch is operated, of course, by the Cuban government and, as far as I can tell, it is purely a tourist destination, but a good one.

Our Road Scholar group was greeted by an honor guard, treated to an opening concert, a tour of the ranch, a rodeo, and then a visit to the nearby village. That was, perhaps, the most interesting part of the day, as we got to see rural life in Cuba in one of the poorer areas of the country. We were invited into a home, heard about local services (the village has its own school and a primary care physician).
Note the tropical motif within the King Ranch logo
The honor guard, Cuban, American, and corporate flags
Opening concert

Pig roasting in  the hut

Rodeo. Unfortunately the grandstands had just been painted so we viewed from within wagons. Not such good images as there might have been.

 It’s hard to know if the house we were invited into was typical. It certainly was not luxurious, but it was adequate and the owners were in the process of building some additions. They had an antiquated Soviet-era  television, microwave, and modern refrigerator. I did not take images inside the house, though we were free to. It just did not feel right at the time. I probably was being overly punctilious.

The village
The school

After that we were treated to a pig roast. Lots of good food for us carnivores. They did take care of the vegetarians among us, but not as well.  Throughout the trip, the vegetarians did have some food issues. They always ate, but not always as well as the rest of us.
Noontime concert. We bought the CD.

Noontime on the ranch
Roping practice for some

You see these water jugs throughout Camaguey province, part of the traditional system to capture and purify rainwater
 As noted it was a most interesting day.

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