I have received a few emails from my Mum, commenting on my lack of blog posts, so I thought I should explain. I am in Cuba.
Ok, if you read this blog you would know that so I should probably explain a bit more but that really does cover it. Internet here is slow and not that easy to come by. To access the internet you must buy a card that will last you one hour, providing your name and licence or passport details with your money. (At the bottom of my screen the minutes count down, adding that little bit of pressure that you must type fast, beating that clock.) The internet place (like many things in Cuba) isn´t necessarily open the hours advertised on the door. As our guide Tatiana likes to say, things change quickly here in Cuba. In Havana the other day I walked past an internet place, closing at 4pm for fumigation. Where I am at the moment there are three internet terminals. One doesn´t work. The chair I am sitting on is a standard office chair, except all the wheels have broken off. As I said, I am in Cuba.
But, I also don´t know what to write. I think I said this before but I don´t know how to explain to you what an amazing country this is. Definitely not perfect, but who cares about the chair having no wheels. Have a mojito or pina colada, for a princely sum of $2, and everything is fine. (No, I am not turning into a raging alcoholic but this is Cuba. A bottle of rum is cheaper than a bottle of softdrink!)
I am nearing the end of my trip now, only about 9 days till I´m home (I´ll admit, I am looking forward to my own bed, shower and toilet) and can inundate you with photos and well thought out, perfectly descriptivewords about Cuba. (Umm....I can always hope.) In the meantime, here are a few random thoughts.
This morning I went for a walk past tobacco fields, saw a farmer make a cigar, through a UNESCO registered valley (staying in Vinales and it is amazing) scrabbled partway up a mountain and through a cave to the other side and drank the milk from a fresh coconut, with some rum and honey mixed in.
Havana is incredible. Full of contrasts. Old Havana is gorgeous, perfectly restored with cobblestoned streets, lovely shops and pretty squares. I could almost have been in Belgium, France or Austria. But the rest of Havana would be better described by potholes, buildings that are falling down or in such a bad state of disrepair.
Trinidad would probably be my favourite city here. It is small so we wandered everywhere and the people in our homestay were absolutely lovely. We also got coffee flavoured creme caramels with breakfast. Cubans have a sweet tooth! There are steps just of the main square where different bands play every night so we spent a couple of evening there, even attending a preformance by Buena Fe which is a very popular Cuban band.
The food has been amazing. I am still drewling about a chocolate tart I had in Paladar La Guarida in Havana. Absolutely delicious for anywhere, not just Cuba! And lobster for $13, how can you beat that.
In 2 days time we head for Maria La Gorda, which translates as Maria the Fatso by the way, which is the beach and apparently amazing snorkeling. Picture hammocks strung between palm trees. (For anyone wondering, I am still as pale skinned now as when I left home. No tan for me.)
In Camaguey we attended the Festival of Water Pots. No joking. Apparently in times gone by when passing sailors drank from these water pots, which of course I can´t remember the Spanish name of, they were enticed to stay in Camaguey forever. So now there is a week long festival which closes a street for the stages and preformances.
Well, my mind seems empty of random thoughts now so I will sign off.
Asta Maniana. (Ok, I can pronounce it but not spell it. And it means see you tomorrow anyway which I´m not guaranteeing anyway.)
Ciao. They say that too and that one I can spell. At least I think that´s right.