I’m on a one hour time limit, and the internet is a bit wonky, but here we go! First impressions… we landed in Holguin and had lunch. Quick flight, 45 minutes to a whole other world. First thing I noticed is the lack of vehicles. There are either cars and trucks made before 1959 (embargo started) or Russian cars. A few Hondas and other foreign made cars. But main transportation is buses, horse and cart and motorcycles. It seemed odd to drive down 4 lane highways in a bus dodging bikes, motorcycles and horses. But the quiet is wonderful. Especially in the cities without constant honking.
The people seem very friendly and happy to have Americans visiting.
Homes in the rural areas are small, look like just 2-3 rooms with outdoor plumbing. Most don’t have glass windows. Shutters keep out the sun, and keep the homes cool. They grow lots of sugarcane, and in the last few years, have been able to grow vegetables to sell for their own monies. Before then, the government had control of all the produce and profits.
We dined at a private restaurant. People are allowed to turn their homes into a restaurant, and cater to tourists. Tourist industry is their 2nd largest source of income. We are nice in a large hotel in Santiago de Cuba. Throughout the hotel, there are performers. Singers, piano, guitar and any other instrument you can imagine.
These beautiful women are singing as I write this. There are 5 people here. So it is a little awkward. I need to clap periodically.
Now they have fans. Damn I’m uncomfortable. Do I tip? Of course, how much?
For my son Ben Zinnen, I found the motorcycle hangout. The gas station!
After being up since 5:00am, I am getting a little punchy. But this is an experience of a lifetime. Tomorrow, I promise pictures of cars and homes. Night all!