I left the hostel in the morning in a bid to find some waterfalls named El Salto Estanzuela. First, I took a taxi to the hospital where the hiking trail began. Then I started the 5/6 km hike. It was rather hilly on a dusty road. It was quiet hard, but the views were as spectacular as ever. An hour and 15 minutes later I reached a gate paid a small fee to locals and walked a little further to the waterfalls. Hiking alone is a great time to reflect. It’s a type of meditation – moving one leg in front of the other repetitively. While, it is calming it is also physically intense. Being alone you have less distractions and so need more motivation to keep on moving.
At the waterfalls I met two other gringos – one from Australia the other from the Netherlands. We went for a quick swim in the freezing water, totally cooling down from the hot and sweaty walk there. The water came gushing down over a cliff face. It was rather mystic. Soon the area flooded with locals coming to picnic in the area.
We were all ready to leave at the same time so began the trek back. A truck was heading our way so I threw my thumb up and we all hitched a ride back. It was perfect we got dropped back very near our hostels.
Later that afternoon I decided to visit the famous cigar factory in the area. It was fascinating. The security was high, I signed in, left my bag at the gate and was taken near the pressing machine room to wait. I spoke to a couple of workers who seemed pretty bored. Most had headphones in. The rolling and packaging process seemed pretty repetitive and tedious. Apparently, workers get around the minimum wage of 200 US dollars a month. The cigar touches 300 hands from seed to shelf. Clearly, the growing and manufacturing process is extensive, intense and long. However, it is all worth it for those who enjoy a good cigar. Read here for more about cigars: