Day 28, Cienfuegos: Traveling in Cuba is easy, now holiday time with locals in this pretty little seaside town.
All went well with taking the bus this morning. But traveling here is not like in Jamaica, everything is organized, bureaucratic (seriously, so much paperwork just to take a bus!) and the busses leave on time. Tourists are supposed to travel with Viazul busses, although I have heard of people who have managed to get on a “local” bus. An option for a bus is to take a “taxi colectivo” which means sharing a taxi with other people going to the same city. There are always taxis waiting in front of the Viazul stations and they leave when they have enough passengers. The price should be about the same than for a bus. Since I’m alone it is easier for me to take a bus instead of waiting for a taxi to be full but for a group of 3 or 4 people it is a good solution.
Cienfuegos is smaller town, by the sea and a bit more in the south. There is also a Malécon (boulevard by the sea) and a Paseo del Prado (central promenade), like in Havana. Here people live in houses, not in apartments.
First things first, my new room looks like this. ;)
So my casa is gorgeous again and my host J-L is wonderful. I took a taxi there and he greeted me with open arms, he seems super nice. Right after me two men came in and J-L asked us all to gather in the living room so he would verify our bookings. It turned out that these men, they were Italians, didn’t have a reservation even if they though they did. J-L told them that he unfortunately didn’t have any available rooms so they couldn’t stay. One of the men got a little bit mad and started talking very fast and with an aggressive tone, at the same time spinning around and waving his hands in all directions. All this in a mix of Italian and Spanish. From what I could understand I interpreted that they had booked a room at another casa but that they couldn’t stay there because the host’s mother had recently passed away and she couldn’t take any visitors. So they were sent to J-L’s place instead. He told the same story like five times to be sure that J-L followed (I don’t think he had any trouble understanding) and each time he got more and more crazy. It may not sound funny now when I tell it but you should have been there, it was hilarious to listen to: “Pero murió la mamma!....” and I just couldn’t keep my face straight. At the end I looked at J-L and we both started giggling and the Italian finally noticed me, the blond girl sitting in the corner, and asked me in Spanish if I had understood. I said yes and then he started cursing at himself, he was so embarrassed. He calmed down and J-L explained (what he had tried to do all the time) that they would be taken to another casa, no problem. When the Italians were gone, J-L rolled his eyes to me: “Italianos, locos”.
This first day I just went strolling around in the city center/old town and in Punta Gorda where I live. I saw horse carriages all over the town and had lunch for only 5 CUC. Tonight I went to a bar called la Punta, close to my house. I met some regulars, like a funny old man who had no teeth so it was hard to understand what he was saying. He repeated million times that I should absolutely get a Cuban boyfriend (I wonder why) and said that he hopes one day Cubans as well will have the money and opportunity to travel around the world, although, when that day comes he will already be dead. That was so much fun to listen to. It was a cheerful and cozy little bar but now I have to stop drinking (virgin) piña coladas, because too many calories!
I'm Emilia, Finnish-Parisian, a recent Master's graduate. I'm currently traveling around the Caribbean and on a volunteering mission in Colombia. I'm passionate about writing, music and different kinds of sports. I can't wait to discover new places and cultures - and share my adventures with you!