We had a few hours but it soon clouded over and started to rain which prompted us to head back into town.....
. and ......... have a few drinks (we are now firmly calling it "when in Cuba") and a bit more sightseeing. We found a tourist bar with a quite a few locals in there and for about 80p for half a litre of beer was reasonably priced. We sat down and I whispered to Lady E that a man kept looking at me and staring in almost a perverted fashion, was this another chubster chaser? It turned out he was drawing me, however upon finishing he requested 3 quid, well there was no chance that was two rounds of beers, after letting him take it away he finally agreed to let me keep it for a small payment in local pesos. We still had so many local pesos it was embarrassing, I wouldnt mind I only got about 10 quids worth. After three pints we were asked to leave as they were closing however it turned out that some rich looking American tourists were waiting for a table, well I suppose that is why these guys are the highest earners in the economy, they know they will get a better tip from wealthy Americans accustomed to tipping for everything than some cheapskate British backpackers who only used the toilet when the loo attendant had a break. Fair play I say, Erica was somewhat annoyed especially when we asked the door guy what time they closed and he said midnight!
We found another watering hole and had a few beers and after about an hours bartering bought an expensive cigar off a local seller who was trying to entice us into buying a box
. The bar was somewhat annoyed however after finding out the price confirmed we had paid less than half the bar price. All a little strange, a man coming over with his chopper out.... (thats the cigar cutter obviously) and lighting it for us. Between us we managed to finish it and we actually both quite enjoyed it however had to get rid of the guy who was convinced he was going to sell us a box.
We ended up leaving a little bit drunk again, we bought some fish butties and a pizza as well as another bottle of Cuban Rum for our host, unfortunatley a quarter was already gone by the time we got home. One of our contacts had been around. Our host sent me upstairs to her upstairs neighbour who was lucky enough to have a landline in his house (this is a real community everyone will do anything to help you even a foreign stranger), our contact let us know about a party that night and to head over as soon as we could. We jumped in one of the old American taxis which are awesome and all over Cuba. To hire one of these in Tourist peso is probably about 10 quid an hour, in local ordinary peso we paid 6p a person for a 15 minute ride, its awesome. We found the house and found it to be like an old mansion, there were probably similar numbers of Cubans and foreigners with people from Hungary, Asian North Americans and Swiss (German speakers). It was a great night but we had to buy yet another bottle of rum
. There was lots of salsa lessons, salsa, talk of Cuban travels and Cuban experiences, people smoking cigars and Cuban visitors dropping in and out to practice English and meet and speak to tourists. Time however ran away with us and we got dropped off outside near by an American car at about 2am, the guy who I gave a beer to the other night was there and got up giving me a hug, it was all so surreal. I think we have fallen for the Cuba we have experienced, the people, our hosts, our contacts and other friends we have met in the short time we have been here. It is possibly a very different place to that which many package tourists visit however I have no doubt all visitors think the same thing..... Viva la Cuba.
We woke up fully rested and full of the joys of Cuban Life, we had breakfast with our host and our hosts family and had to throw everyone out of our room in the end we are that popular here. We finally got on our way to go to the Cuban Cigar factory however we found that there are no tours at the weekend, we trolled around the shop wondering how a cigar can really cost that much money and how a box of cigars can ever be worth thousands of US dollars. The guys outside are also all selling the same cigars for about a quarter of the cost. We decided to head to the beach early and come back for a few drinks on the way back. We went to the area of the beach near the bar from our drunken day at the beach a couple of days ago and were given a royal reception being hugged by the barman whilst lay on the sand, it was all a little embarrasing when I said I didnt want a beer or a Mojito or anything he then got a little frustrated.