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Nicaragua Trip

TridentTrident Posts: 2,443 ✭✭✭✭
So, some of you may have heard, but there was a group of us from the forums who took a trip down to Estelli, Nicaragua, and spent some time at AJ Fernandez's factory, with AJ, and some of his staff.  First off, I'd like to thank Alex and AJ specifically for making this happen.  And also Jamie, and Raymond for spending a good amount of time with us, and explaining everything.  So let me tell you all about the trip.  I was honored to travel with this crew.  Although small in number, great company, and even better brothers.  @Stubble , @jliu , @Tyland64 , @bearb .  I hope next time we make this trip happen, some other brothers can join me/us.  So let me tell you about the trip.

We started the trip by meeting in Houston to spend a few days/hours there to burn a few and check out some local lounges.  It was a good place to start the trip together, and get settled in.  We left for Nicaragua on Wednesday morning, and arrived in Estelli in the early afternoon.  Estelli is about a 2 hour drive from Managua.  We were picked up by Marko, who had a spacious van for us...with ventilation, and also packs of cigars for each of us.  By the time we arrived in Estelli, the factor was already shut down for the Easter holiday, so we just took a tour with Jamie, who became our tour guide.  We met up with AJ, and talked briefly, introducing us to a few others that work for him, and also to his new cigar "Last Call," which will be making an appearance in stores very shortly.  you should smoke it, you will probably enjoy it.  we all did.  The night we hung out by the pool, and a nice salon and bar area smoking cigars, laughing and drinking rum, and a little bit of water.  AJ, Raymond, and a few others joined us for a while, with a surprise visit, by AJs daughter.  She has a beautiful voice, and sang a few songs for us.  We did end up calling it a night shortly after that.  

The next morning we started off in the factory with Jamie and also Raymond.  Raymond is a production supervisor, and the man with the Keys.  Good guy to know.  very knowledgeable on the entire cigar making process from curing to bunching, and rolling.  We started off with lessons on bunching.  We did all get a chance to bunch our own cigars, which is not an easy as it looks.  After a few hours there, AJ joined us, rolled a couple of mystery cigars, and gave them out to us, and let us burn them.  Amazing!  He then took us to his fields, Tell us about the tobacco in a few different locations.  driving through rivers to get to certain fields.  all of this is a crazy experience.  Then off to the curing barns with hanging leaves everywhere.  IT WAS DARK.  no lights in this area, except the small amount of sun coming from the door.  The smell is amazing.  The feel of curing tobacco is amazing.  AJ then grabs a partially cured leaf and rolls it onto a cigar.  The power off this leaf was intense.  After that tour, AJ left us to go on holiday with his family, and we went back to the factory to learn how to pass wrappers.  Again, it looks much easier than it is.  After we all learned this skill, Jamie and Raymond took us on a tour of Estelli, and off to AJs other farms, where he keeps more tobacco fields, horses and also pigs.  The sheer size of this organization is amazing.  then we were off to a quick lunch (at like 4pm), then back to AJs "White House," where we were staying.  This night started off in the pool with more beers, rum and cigars, and then to the salon.

Friday morning started off with breakfast, and then we were off to the factory.  We passed wrappers on the cigars we bunched the day before.  they sat in the molds overnight.  We hung out and relaxed for a short period of time in the salon, and then went off on a bit of adventure around estelli.  We hiked to overview points, overlooking the mountains and also the volcanoes, some of which recently erupted.  What a spectacular view.  After a few hours of touring, we ended the day back at the White House sitting in the pool.  Relaxing with cigars, rum, and beer in Nicaragua is an experience you all need to have.  The cigars, the beer, the rum, all taste better in nicaragua.  Trust me, ask anyone.

The next morning we left the white house and 8am, and flying out of Managua at noon.  Once in Houston we all went our separate ways home.

The trip was amazing, and a great group of guys.  If anyone has any specific questions, or wants to see more pictures, please let me know.  I have included a few.  

Looking forward to the next trip!


  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 7,673 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Super cool! Thanks for posting this up. 
  • Usaf06Usaf06 FloridaPosts: 8,213 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Would love to get in on this
    "I drink a great deal. I sleep a little, and I smoke cigar after cigar. That is why I am in two-hundred-percent form."
    -- Winston Churchill
  • StubbleStubble T E X A SPosts: 4,307 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • GuitardedGuitarded AlbuquerquePosts: 3,826 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That looks absolutely amazing! I would love to participate in the next adventure. Sounds like a good time was had by all. Thanks for the great photos and feedback.
    Friends don't let good friends smoke cheap cigars.
  • peter4jcpeter4jc Milwaukee, WIPosts: 7,580 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'd be afraid that I wouldn't come home!

    @Stubble - that photo of AJ using your nubber (at least that's what it looks like) is priceless!
    "I could've had a Mi Querida!"   Nick Bardis
  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I want to do something like this sssooooo bad!!
  • TridentTrident Posts: 2,443 ✭✭✭✭
    @peter4jc , He is using @Stubble , nubber.  He loved it

  • CharlieHeisCharlieHeis South DakotaPosts: 6,113 ✭✭✭✭✭
    AMAZING. Sorry for yelling.
  • johnnyBjohnnyB UtardedPosts: 1,541 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Wow that looks like an awesome time. Thanks for sharing your story and all the pictures.
    Non Crux sed lux
  • StubbleStubble T E X A SPosts: 4,307 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @peter4jc;  Yeah...that was pretty cool.  I think three nubbers now call Nicaragua home.
    Hey, you gonna eat the rest of that corndog?
  • genareddoggenareddog South eastern indianaPosts: 2,864 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That is awesome
  • EssPee2uEssPee2u Da BronxPosts: 126 ✭✭✭
    Keep it Smokey
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    It looks and sounds like an amazing trip. Thanks for sharing and for the pics.
  • Puff_DougiePuff_Dougie Mr. Rogers NeighborhoodPosts: 4,601 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Looks and sounds like a great trip! 
    "When I have found intense pain relieved, a weary brain soothed, and calm, refreshing sleep obtained by a cigar, I have felt grateful to God, and have blessed His name." - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  • NolagizmoNolagizmo Nola, LA.Posts: 1,917 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Fenominal looking trip amigos thanks for the photos I wish I was with yall. What an experience. This time of year I can get time off. If I can save some days off I'd love to make that trip one day. 
    "Come party with me in Tennessee for my birthday July we can smoke in the Smokey's."
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 9,256 ✭✭✭✭✭
    YOU GUYS SUCK!!!    :p

    Ok, now that I got that out of my system, AWESOME pics!!
    There is no crisis that a good cigar can't cure.
    In Fumo Pax
    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
  • jliujliu Posts: 7,728 ✭✭✭✭
    Oh how I wish I was still there!
  • silvermousesilvermouse Cape CodPosts: 8,589 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What a great trip! Judging from the stones in one of the pictures preparing those fields was no small endeavor, I've spent some time picking stones at a small farm and know what it's like. Also surprised to see that the cigar molds are plastic instead of wood.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 5,181 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Wow!   Just, wow! :o
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as someone else's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sooo...big question. How much does a trip like this run??
  • StubbleStubble T E X A SPosts: 4,307 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @silvermouse;  They are switching to the plastic molds due to cost and ease.  There were still plenty of wooden molds in use.  The wooden mold halves are matched to each other with numbers. The plastic molds are not numbered since they are machine made and will fit any other mold with the same dimensions.

    Hey, you gonna eat the rest of that corndog?
  • TridentTrident Posts: 2,443 ✭✭✭✭
    @MikeTodd The cost of the trip is determined based really on airfare.  But, further costs with regards to lodging and food, and Libations is easier to determine based on dates of travel.  

  • Cigar-718608Cigar-718608 Posts: 3
    Count me in on next trip.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 9,256 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    Count me in on next trip.
    Hey buddy @cigar-718608
    You might consider going to your user profile, under edit profile and change your username to something more personal. It goes a long way here.
    There is no crisis that a good cigar can't cure.
    In Fumo Pax
    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
  • CAcigarguy007CAcigarguy007 Posts: 335 ✭✭✭
    Sounds like a fine time! I'll admit I'm a bit jelly right now! Thanks for sharing. 
  • AlbinfkAlbinfk Pittstown,NYPosts: 1,943 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Looks like an awesome place for a second honeymoon! No wife of course. Very jealous.
  • bearbbearb Posts: 1,128 ✭✭✭
    Chi-town herfs, nicaragua, c-fests....oh I have been very blessed. Thanks!

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