Far away to Camagüey

Far away to Camagüey
Trinidad, Caribbean

Trinidad, Caribbean


I sold my soul for wifi… It’s 7am and I’m alone, sitting on the salsa stairs, in the main square of Plaza Mayor (one of 2 wifi spots in Trinidad). My only other company is a pack of local dogs that have congregated, fighting among themselves like adolescent boys. I load some pictures and blog posts reflecting on my Trinidad time. The people here are lovely and very…. Complimentary. The most common things I hear: I love you Eres bonita Beautiful lady; & Que Linda. It’s a 7-8 hour journey to Camagüey (pronounced Cam away) today. Farewell Trinidad. On the way, we stop at Sugar Mill Valley, a great lookout point over the surrounding mountains and valley below. The valley is no longer entirely sugar cane plantations, but there are plenty in Cuba. As Olexis points out, “if we have no sugar, we have no rum, if we have no rum, this is a problem”. Cuba is serious about a few things: Rum Cigars Salsa; & Rum. The Cuban rum culture was highlighted when a man approach me in the street yesterday, to offer his taxi services. He reeked of rum but that’s not the reason I declined his services. I have legs and can walk. Another giveaway on the rum culture was my first and many more mojitos that were more rum than mixer. Next stop on the journey to Camagüey, the second highest colonial building in Cuba. The story behind its construction is a legend of love. Two brothers were in love with the same woman and to settle who would marry her, their father set a challenge – which ever son could construct the highest tower or the deepest well. In the end, their father was the one who ended up with the woman. Cheeky. Cuban countryside is green this time of year and there are many plantations and livestock. Apparently, the Cuban government owns all the cows in the country and no one is allowed to kill them (as they are government resources). The punishment for killing a cow (for intentions of eating I gather) is 10-20 years in prison. For killing someone it’s 5-10 years in prison. Cows aren’t sacred here and neither are people. Rice, beans, eggs and white bread are staple foods here. Fish and seafood too. If I wasn’t so hungry, I’d be laying off the carbs… There aren’t really many options, even the supermarkets are stocked with the least “super” of items. Rice, beans, rum, tequila, tobacco, ice cream, beer, water, and if you’re lucky, some Pringles. I miss snacks and salads. For those of you reading this who know me and can grasp the affinity I have for Pepsi Max in Australia, I’m saddened to tell you there is no Pepsi Max in Cuba. Also, Mexico’s Diet Pepsi tasted like dirt. I have now been clean for 21 days. My body is a sleepy, refined, white breaded temple. I saw a horse and cart at a petrol station during the bus ride today. That confused me… Not as much as the fact that sweet potato in Cuba is not the same as in Australia. It’s white here, not orange. I’ve made a point to mention this to Olexis about being “lead down the garden path” regarding the vegetables in Cuba. Often when ordering salad or vegetables, you end up with a plate of predominantly cabbage. Finally, we reach Camagüey, Olexis’s home town and according to him, the greatest city in Cuba. WRONG. So wrong. Sara and I spend an hour or so getting acquainted with Camagüey… As in, that’s how long it takes us to walk the Main Street out of town, across the rail road tracks and into… The ghetto… There’s more to Camagüey, and I’ll save it for another day aka tomorrow.

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