Cuba, the return.
Return to Cuba after 25 years. Cuba in 1990 apr? a world of which I could not more? do without.
? changed a lot, but what 25 years ago made me fall in love? still here intact. ? truly an old lady who proudly shows all her wrinkles. She doesn't try to look different anymore. young. Cuba? this that you see nothing more ?. You can love it or hate it. But you can never remain indifferent, why? she won't let you.
Decadent buildings, noise, traffic. But an inner beauty that only those who know how to look beyond can? see: music everywhere, colors, smiles. Of course the Cubans press you with their requests, there are endless queues to buy a bus ticket, to change money, to eat. But Cuba? this; Cuba would not hesitate without the queues, so? they say. So you smile and? Learn? the patience. Wait. No hurry.
We arrived at Habana and after a day spent walking around we started our journey.
First stop, Cienfuegos. City quiet, 5 hours by bus and we are already? in another Cuba. Pi? relaxed, fewer tourists. Everything more? calm. On the streets there are 3 types of vehicles: bicycles, cars and coches de caballo.
Everything moves perfectly ... an incredible joint. We are sleeping in the casas particulares, practically in the private homes of people. Have we entered this? Ride? and now every time we arrive in a new place we will find someone with a sign with Claudia waiting for us. A nice way to understand, know and talk.
We move to Trinidad. Beautiful country but a lot, too touristy. Very characteristic, well-kept, colorful. Nothing is missing, there are no queues and it doesn't even seem to be in Cuba.
Let's take a half-day stop and then run away as always when we are in the places where the number of tourists? higher than that of the natives.
The next stop takes us to Camaguey. They call it the labyrinth why? the streets of the center are very intricate. Ed? nice to turn randomly and get lost. There are a lot of churches, little squares, fantastic cafes. I can't say that there are no tourists here, but they are seen much less. Ed? pi? easy to relax and immerse yourself in reality? Cuban.
We leave for Holguin, where I believe we were the only tourists sighted in these days. We are sleeping in the house of a fantastic couple Elena (Russian) and Leo (Cuban) and this? really the house more? particulares of all. We stop to catch our breath. It has been a very long journey and tomorrow we decided we want some relaxation. We wake up and take a taxi to Guardalavaca where I was also 25 years ago. Gi? then one of the most? that there were.
The number of resorts and tourists has increased. Who goes there? on vacation, he doesn't even smell of Cuba, but the sea and the beach are truly a dream. You move away from the resorts and find yourself on a deserted beach, white sand, palm trees and a sea of a color that varies from green to light blue. According to Elena? the beach more? beautiful of all Cuba and there is that he is right.
To end the day we decided to have dinner at the pizzeria Roma, which they talked about very well. Here is the choice of this pizzeria there? cost two hours in a row and a cost of 3? about to eat 3 pizzas and 3 beers. After a relaxing day we are ready to enter the chaos of Santiago.
We are in a very nice hostal in the center and the impact with Santiago? nice and strong. Gi? last time I liked the south of Cuba better. Between Habana and Santiago Santiago had won and once again she wins. Pi? hot the temperature, more? hot people (sometimes too much). Pi? music, more? noises, more? colors. Then there is a whole part of Santiago that goes down to the port where you forget you are also here. Silence, calm, deserted streets. An oasis of peace where it is good to look out every now and then to catch your breath. Concertino at the Casa della Trova tonight and tomorrow departure: Baracoa we arrive.
And we arrive in the area pi? humid of Cuba and just to make us understand it well, it rains a whole day.
Rainforest hike. I think I have never taken so much water like this? in just one day.
But the forest is beautiful, despite the weather. You look around and forget about everything.
We go to bed a little damp and in the morning we wake up with a beautiful sun. The climate more? unpredictable island is written in the guide. It is believed. We leave for Playa Manguana. And we find ourselves back in a truly postcard-like beach. And at the end of the trip we needed a nice relaxing day. And we also like the idea of ending this trip here in Baracoa. A small, quiet town where after a while you feel at home why? you know everything and everyone.
Are the last days those in which the return crisis begins and begins? already? to suffer from nostalgia. Do I know that once home I will miss me? Cuba, will I miss your absurdities? people and especially I will miss them? to be traveling.
Speaking to people, when I tell that I was here for the first time in 1990, everyone tells me that what? it was one of the worst periods in Cuban history. Ed? strange to think that it was that trip, in that precise period, that marked? the beginning of my itinerary that for years has taken me around Latin America.
We return to Santiago, and then leave. While we are walking around, a guy named Daniel stops us and invites us to have a drink in a bar to celebrate his birthday. We hesitate a moment why? Santiago? the city? where everyone stops you why? they want something, but in the end we go and find ourselves entangled in the conversation that will take us in half an hour? faced with what it means to live in Cuba.
Daniel? graduated but not working, Daniel has little freedom, even for those who work salaries are very low. There are no means to buy a computer to study, the internet? rare, there are no newspapers. Many await the arrival of the Americans without thinking that perhaps the Americans if they arrive in a Cuba like today, they will only be able to do harm. Cuba must first open up, change something that allows Cubans to live better, then it can? open up to the rest of the world, including Americans. Must the double currency story end? crazy, meaningless. There are people who take from a tourist for one night what others do not earn even in a month. Is education true? free, everyone is educated. But what good is it if they don't have the chance? of working?
Do you understand that there are two ways of seeing Cuba. C '? those who experience it simply as a tourist, beautiful beaches, beautiful sea, beautiful people, music and fun. An easy journey. Then for? if you feel like you can go beyond all this, you can try to talk to who this reality? he lives it every day.
This ? the other side of Cuba, where nothing? easy and where Cubans fight daily for their survival armed only with their smile and their splendid character.
Hasta la victoria siempre.