A series of (un)fortunate events - Days 6 & 7
You'll have to wait for Husband to post his own account of his trip right across the island of Cuba, 4 hours each way, from the Atlantic shoreline nearly to the Carribean Sea, from Cayo Santa Maria to Sierra del Escambray. Transport changed from a large air-conditioned bus, to an army truck, to a jeep, to foot as the road got more rugged. He and another fellow - a very interesting Austrian - were the only two on the tour, giving them the guide's undivided attention. It was a good story - should make good reading when he gets around to it. Right now he's soldering circuitboards, so who knows?
For me, the day was spent on the beach, reading and sunning and slipping up to the beach bar for ice-cold Cristal and the universally excellent Cuban bread bread dipped in delicious homemade hummous. (Who would've expected?)
The leg was still swollen but nearly painless. On Thursday, I was pretty much ready to begin my Cuban vacation.
Friday was our last full day, and we spent it together on the beach all day. Yes - I was definitely ready to start my Cuban vacation.
Before we leave Cayo Santa Maria, let me share with you some of my favourite things about the place - like the floor-to-ceiling windows in the shower, that allowed you - depending on your villa's location and your modesty - to shower while gazing out over the lush foliage and gorgeous water, stark naked.
(Note the low-flow toilet. Every toilet we've seen in Cuba has been like this. Hot water comes from solar-panel-heated storage tanks on the villa roofs. This too is standard at the resorts.)
Oh! Or the statues of strangely menacing pelicans that were scattered around the grounds. We saw many pelicans fishing at the beach, and none of them looked like a refugee from an Insane Clown Posse video shoot.
The disco had me even before I noticed its uncompromising "no Speedos" stance.
(This reminds me of a sign in a building at Cayo Largo, which just said "DANGER", with nothing remotely dangerous anywhere within close inspection. Because we looked. Hard.)
And although Cuba is all about delivering the national drink, ron (rum), into tourists and locals as quickly, cheaply and efficiently as possible, this still stopped me in my tracks: tetra pack Mojitos.
With straws. Yes, for a mere 90 centavos you too can have an ultra-portable, quick-serve shot of alcohol through a bendy straw. I've brought back four and haven't had the heart to drink one, so I don't know how good - or terribly bad - they are.
There were also Cubitos, a tomato-juice and rum cocktail which sounds absolutely disgusting and which I've never tried, and straight rum. What a country.
And how I miss it.
(One final, disturbing note: for the first time, to take this trip, we had to submit to our names and passport numbers being turned over to US authorities as we were flying over US airspace to get from Toronto to Cuba. Given the US's stubborn insistance on classifying Cuba a state which sponsors terrorism, this is not knowledge that I am particularly comfortable with the States collecting about Canadian citizens. Or, more pointedly, me. Right now, a planned trip to Maine has been shelved. Sad - I've visited the States many times - but with the hysteria right now, I just don't want to go there, literally or figuratively.
Paranoid? Probably. The problem is, so are they.)