Sunday, 10 July 2011

Overdue (Part 2)

And Off They Go by foundimagination
We took a day's trip to Havana and hired a local guide to show us around and help us:

We're driving at 100 clicks down a rickety highway in a green Lada from 1980 and the wind's whipping my hair.

There's a breeze at the top of the hotel where Hemmingway lived for 7 years and I'm drinking a Mohito looking out at Habana.

The market was amazing, there was so much stuff, from percussion instruments to jewellery, these large rings, and paintings. It was so hot, there was no breeze. There is an entire square of books for sale. It feels like,Paris, Montmartre.

So many old buildings, there are fewer "old, old" cars here, but the ones that are American are old beauties. There are a lot of Ladas and Fiats. Russian cars.

We found out that "pingo" means "penis" (I have no idea how or why we discovered this!) There are slogans on all the billboards as you're rattling down the freeway.

Our next few days:

Today was the perfect day: woke up and had bacon. Walked and saw locals, a mama cow feeding a baby cow, a baby goat a baby boy, I had sugar cane from a sugar cane farmer and watched as he squeezed the juice out for us to drink. We walked back and went straight into the pool and then into the ocean for a swim. Then I kayaked. In the Carribean ocean! Then back into the pool, then out for lunch....mmmm hot dog! Then a nap on the beach followed by snacks and drinks. I bought Che pins and chocolate and had a funny joke with Mom. Then it was back to the beach for swimming and reading. Perfect.

Easter Sunday: the Easter bunny found us! (wink wink) and did a good job hiding the eggs. We watched the sun rising over the hills and through the palm trees, golden orange, next to the hill. We went and got bacon to feed the mommy and baby cat and the wee kitten was so sweet. We went out in the kayak and had a beautiful view of the rolling fading green hills. We left eggs for the made who left us three cute towel swans. There were lots of Cubans on the beach today. I think in Mexico, they must keep the locals off. For lunch, I like rice, black beans and corn, oh, and the other night they had cream puff swans! I went out snorkelling a wee bit, it was pretty cool, the ocean floor looked really cool and wavy up shallow in the sand and I saw some fish. Later, we went out in the kayak again and I took Mom way out over the reef and she snorkelled and kept saying how amazing it was. Later, I went out with Dad in the kayak and got out over the deep trench edge of the reef and saw so many fish, big blue ones, stripey black and white ones, one little guy who has half bright blue and half yellow and a big guy trying to eat a bunch of little guys and longish ones and sandy ones and black ones and stripey ones. Yesterday we saw "pipe fish" right in the shallows. Then at noon, we went out on the Hobie Cat with Manuel. The sailing was great, but then he was "Wow! Look! Fish!" I couldn't see what he was looking at, but he let Dad sail and when we got closer, we saw this massive school of tuna churning up this huge strip of water. It looked like waves breaking and it was noisy like churning and they were wild. A feeding frenzy? And then it just stopped. Went perfectly quiet and calm. And then we turned around and found another group and then another and then a flying fish went out in front of our boat. Wow! As we came in, we saw the "White Rock", this massive thing sticking out of the hill - Pina Blanca. Yellow Beach, Playa Marilla, where the camping was and Santa Cruz with the oil refinery. The countryside is so beautiful and verdant and hilly and treed and so pretty and so nice. And Manuel was nice - a big guy who took over the sailing from Dad because sometimes when there are that many fish, there are sharks! EEEEK!

Watching little brown skinned kids roll themselves in the sand and become little sand coloured kids. We're all the same really... from my friend from Port Alberni, to my friend from Saskatchewan, to this little brown skinned baby taking his first steps in the Cuban sand. We're all the same.

The Canadians here have been so nice and friendly and it's been awesome.

Everyone smiles in the same language. Children play the same. Babies laugh at the same things regardless of race. There's a woman sitting on the beach in front of me whose skin is the polar opposite of mine. I am pale, nearly white, (I really am) she is dark, nearly black.

A rust coloured Lada shows up down the jungle path at 5 to take everyone home and they drive back home past the horses and palm trees and "beach" trees. And every afternoon the wind kicks up. Some days it's so strong and fierce that the sand would bite.

And there goes Mario home again. He who met us on his scooter to tell us the car was just 5 minutes away. Mario. And now another car has shown up, down the two tracked sand path road from who knows where.

The last half of the trip:

And even the breeze is like humid breath, pushing rather than blowing. And I'll remember that tiny kitten this morning, putting its paws up on my leg hoping for food.

There's a very vocal cat by the pool "talking" for her baby. And these great black birds, turkey vultures they tell me, circling the skies in lazy circles. And the sky over my left shoulder's turning grey, but up above it's blue with puffy clouds.

Yesterday, I sat at the pool in a rain sun shower. Big fat drops.

Somebody's dog came running up the beach earlier today, stopped and and found the shade of the palapa and flopped down. Before that, he sheltered under Mom's chair.

When you don't hear or listen, everyone's just as beautiful. The Cubans at the beach are so lively and vibrant, very like the countryside they come from.

And what is "cold" here is balmy at home. Can only be dreamed of at home!

We've had thunder the last two evenings.

(And there ends my notes from my Cuba trip. I'm glad I took these notes when I was there, there are small details I might not have remembered otherwise, and re-reading them brought back the whole trip. Like the photos do. Thanks for coming on my memory lane trip with me.)


Blogger Solitary Diner said...

Your Cuba photos are stunning! Makes me want to go back...

Sunday, July 10, 2011 8:55:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Me too SD, me too! :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011 11:25:00 am  

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