The pretty little town in Vinales is easily reached using the hop on hop off open top bus thats stops at various places in the area. I used it to get in and out of town but also just to sit upstairs for the hour long circuitous journey and enjoy the sights along the road with the horses and carts and the oxen.
During the day the small cafes are wonderful places to watch the town go by. They serve small cheese heavy vegetable pizzas some of which have viandas on them. I thought at first that these might be meat due to the similarity to the French ‘viande’ but found out that viandas was a collective term for seasonal tubers such as plantains, yams or cassava. Im not sure which ones I had, I was just pleased to have established that the small brown pieces on top were vegetables and not meat. As a vegetarian this was the most exotic choice in town. They were tasty enough and pleasant to wash down with the local Bucanero beer.
The pretty pastel coloured buildings are the backdrop to the brightly coloured 1950s American cars and the local people shopping and balancing cakes on paper plates on their way home. Tourists and local people sat around the small square and I was entertained by friendly locals waiting for the bus.One night I took a taxi back into town to visit El Estanco, yet another pizza and pasta place recommended in my guide book. While I was waiting at the hotel for the taxi I was asked if I would also like to book the return journey. I had declined wanting to keep my options open but when I saw that the town, bustling by day was dark and almost deserted I changed my mind. The little restaurant is at the far end of the town and the only two other people were nearly finished. I listened to the sounds of the insect chorus and of the town and surrounding households winding down for the night. The pizzas were of the same small thick type I had had a the bars in the centre at lunchtime. They also serve pasta covered in cheese. There is (imported) wine even in Vinales, but the Cubans are not wine drinkers so there isnt a large selection.