Cuba Day 7

Day 7

0800am

Camilo Garcia Lopez-Trigo – exdiplomat – camiloglt@outlook.com – twitter@camiloglt

He gave us a talk on US-Cuba relations from the Cuban perspective.

Flashback: Floridita was a fast dinner and slow. It took a while to get the food and then had to eat very quickly so we could make it to the buena vista show. Picked up the tab for Daniel. Everyone wanted to pitch in and I started collecting money but without exact change I couldn’t keep track and I stopped trying, gave back the money and just took care of it. Eventually the taxi came and we got to the show. The Daquiri at floridita was better. I shared the torneados tenderloins ‘papa’ style (hemingway style) with ebru. Good filet mignon and onion soup. The show (flashforward in the past) was good. Great sound and voices. There are two original members left of the original buena vista club. They did a great job. Just wish there was more time for group dancing and more people to dance with that I knew.

The Floridita restaurant


Buena Vista Social Club

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Camilo:

-The 1959 Revolution allowed a change from the corruption of batista including the mobsters and gambling, sex, prostitution.

-those people that belonged with Batista that fled to Florida began to try and disrupt Cuba-US relations and committed terrorism in Cuba and tried to disrupt the economy.

-a specific person, Luis Carriles, has taken credit for doing bombings in Cuba and resides in Florida.

-Problem caused by the embargo. UN has voiced opinion to the US to remove the embargo. As well there is concern to get Cuba off the US terrorist country list as it leads to other restrictions and implications.

-Hot topics: embargo, terrorist country list, Cuban five (3 left in jail in the US), embassy (only special interest section in the swiss embassy)

 

Reported terrorist in florida


 

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1240pm

We went off to a retirement home run by the catholics. They get some govt help but mostly from private help including donations of soap, shampoo, toilet paper, etc. The place wasn’t like the other retirement group.

Catholic home


Right inside the home


One of the nuns and one of the other helpers


Hanging out


If you want to send things. They might get custom taxed.

 

Then off to the hemingway house. It was large but he didn’t leave the house very often. Hard to see very much as you can’t enter the house. Lots of light reflection off the windows causes photo problems. Now to lunch at an organic farm with a possible tour depending on the weather and ground conditions.

Hemingway with Fidel


At the Hemingway house

The house is sealed up so it’s just photos through the window. This is Hemingway’s typewriter.


The house is sealed up so it’s just photos through the window.


The house is sealed up so it’s just photos through the window. One of his cats killed the near lizard so he bottled it. Go figure. I think that’s a bat in the other jar.

Books Hemingway owned.


A desk Hemingway could/would write at

The view from his property. Apparently even with a lot of land, he didn’t leave the house very often.


Orchid on the grounds


Hemingway’s four cats. The famous six toed cats.


The name of his boat


The boat


 

0500pm

It was too wet for the tour after the lunch. Greta gave us a verbal tour about the organic farming there and the community involvement including children’s programs. I must admit I didn’t catch what she said as much as I would have liked because she’s superhot. I did let her know how beautiful she was, in spanish, when I got a chance as we were leaving. No picture unfortunately from me. Too mesmerized. Maybe someone else took one.

The Divino Restaurant. Ok food.


La Yoandra. They also teach locals and kids about farming.


We stopped by an area of town that showed old cars mainly as taxis. The exteriors seem fairly original but my understanding is that many of the parts of not original. Nice to look at but not sure how much they would command in the open market.

I like the bright red.


And the nice blue color.


Another classic car





Beautiful red

 

We passed through chinatown then stopped by a synagogue.

Chinatown entrance


Cufucious saying in spanish


Synagogue sign

 

Nice piece of artwork inside


Getting an impromptu talk


The photo count is increasing and the space is decreasing. I have a bit of space on an extra card but it’s not a large amount. I had planned on getting a larger 128gb card but convinced myself I would be fine with the 64gb. Lesson learned but also could/should just take some time to delete absolute bad pictures that I can’t salvage. Some down time then Cuban music with dinner tonight. It’s too rainy and possibly slippery to go hear the canons tonight for the closing of the gates. Time here is quickly slipping away. One more day tomorrow and then we leave at some point on Friday.

Yet another classic car



Picture of Fidel in the hotel


 

0845pm

Cafe Laurent is very close to the hotel. We bussed it avoid people slipping. Some people didn’t come for their own reasons. There was music and I danced twice. Once cha-cha and once salsa. I need a refresher although two Cuban women there said, as we were leaving, that I had done a very good job. I wish they had said something earlier and maybe I would have danced with them as well. The best part of the meal was the dessert. The brownie, yes the brownie, was excellent. It was in between more dessert stuff that made it more yummy. I love all the clean tasting food here. History may show if new business enterprises will destroy the good quality food in favor of cheaper processed things. I like the honey topping instead of a cheaper sugar syrup in many US places.

Cafe Laurent

 

Back at the hotel people went to the bar for drinks. I took a short walk to the edge near the sea wall. Beautiful night and weather and of course a picture of the hotel. On the way back, Lauren was talking to two gentlemen. They are austrialians and ran the Havana marathon earlier in the week. They would be headed soon to Cafe Lauren where we just came from. Tomorrow morning with breakfast starting at 7am of essentially the last day of the trip. It was surreal coming down here and now surreal going back. I would like to look into coming back with a freelance journalism license and maybe two weeks on my own to explore and write/photograph more of the country.

Picture of the hotel from the rear


-SFA

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