November 9, 2013
On a plane to Cuba. It’s late, and we’re missing half a day in Havana as a result, but at least we knew about it days ahead of time so we knew we could take most of the day to meander back to Cancun.
We wasted most of this extra day, so it is probably a good thing we had it. The highlight of today was probably talking to the man selling hammocks made by prisoners. What irony, to buy something like a hammock made by someone who has no freedom. It was too weird not to stop, and then, well, now we own hammocks. But we utterly failed to do any real sightseeing
today. First we tried to go back to Chichen Itza’s main entrance to buy the souvenirs we passed up before But we would have had to pay before even parking, so we left. Then we tried to hit the Grutas Balankanche, but they won’t do a tour without at least six people, so we would have needed two more, and at 15 till the hour none had come. The next tour would have been in French (unless we all wanted a different language), but I was willing to go on that one. Bunny and I were practicing our terrible French in anticipation.
Still, it was probably better that we got on the road. We barely made it to the car rental return as it was, because the libre road didn’t let us out anywhere near the aeropuerto and we drove back and forth for a while not recognizing anything before asking for directions. The road we were directed to was not at all the same as the one we left on, but we did find our destination eventually, with little time to spare.
|I don’t always picnic in the Yucatan,
but when I do, I prefer FUD brand food.
|Bunny & Crow enjoy their fud.|
On the way we pulled over into a small dirt road leading to a cenote, and ate a picnic of all the things we bought at the supermarket yesterday. This was another highlight. Mexican mayonnaise with lime is really very good.
would get us water tomorrow, and one of the people on the bus was like, no,
tonight. I get it. I was thirsty too. But then when Danilo said we’d get it at
the hotel, another woman said, no, we need it now. And I’m pretty sure she was serious. I can’t even imagine what goes on in a brain like that. Where did she think she was going? Sometimes things aren’t possible when you’re traveling, and you’ve just got to cope. This is especially true when traveling to a country like Cuba. Did she really think that was a reasonable request? So anyway, whenever something isn’t what we might prefer, I imagine that she’s unhappy and it makes me feel a little terrible glee.
|This is the road in front of our hotel.|
The road in front of our hotel is a construction zone, a heap of rubble and pit of trash with makeshift bridges over it. But the hotel is amazing. It has an open central courtyard that goes through every floor, and sitting areas on each level. It’s a stunning Colonial-era style of architecture.
|But this CASTLE is across the street.|
Did It My Way,” en espanol and he actually sounded really good [spoiler: I will come to realize that there are only six songs in Cuba, and this is one of them. That will rob some of the surprise from this initial moment . . . but not all of it.]. Then these two people drew terrible, horrible caricatures of us, and then heckled us for money and we could barely escape.
|The first of many musician friends.|
|It’s just pretty, right?|
We had a terrific lunch of waterbugs and rice and
excellent coffee afterward. It was hot, but they gave us local cola and rum, and then beer. The cola, called tukola, tastes much better with rum in it. Last night we drank the assorted vodkas that we bought at
duty-free mixed with gaseosa, a lemon-lime soda. That was pretty good too.
|The view from lunch.|