Jam Cornettos, Rum and TuKola

Trip Start Feb 11, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Casa de Tony Rafuls

Flag of Cuba  ,
Sunday, April 11, 2010

We had a bit of hassle actually leaving Bayamo. Our fixer dude from he other day was really trying to push a private taxi to the beaches of Holguin instead of getting the bus. It turned out that we couldn't get tickets for the bus until it arrived, as they needed to see how many spaces were available. Some other fixer tried to tell us that the bus was full and ran off to organise a taxi for us for $25cuc.Nice try! In the meantime, we had gone directly to the bus official and bought our tickets for $6CUC each.

Our new host, Tony, was waiting to collect us at Holguin station, and took a taxi with us to his house. Taxi equals somebody's clapped out old lada. It had zero interior. I couldn't figure out how to close the door as there was no interior panel. I just had to grab some random piece of metal.

The casa was lovely. We had our own little granny flat. After the formalities of signing registration books and handing over our visa cards, we dumped our bags and headed out for lunch in El Coctelito - a nacional peso restaurant. We then wandered around the plazas and bought some jam cornettos and water before going for a drink. We had 2 beers each before realising that we were running low on CUCs. So we resorted to plan B: a bottle of rum and 4 cans of the local coke, TuKola. We headed back to the flat to enjoy our rum.Fun Times! Once the rum started to take hold, so too did the hunger, and it wasn't long before we were roaming the streets looking for food. Try as we may, we couldn't find anywhere different to eat due to dress codes, or restaurants running out of food. So we ended up in El Coctelito for round two of pork madness. Although lunch was much nicer.

Monday morning and we were on a mission. OK, so after the rum fun, it was more like Monday afternoon. We had planned on going to a small fishing village called Gibara but the bus left at 7am. Clearly, we didn't make it. Tony had told us that there were trucks that you could hitch a lift on throughout the day. But first we had to arrange our bus to Camaguey for tomorrow. It was $11CUC each. While we were in the tourist office we enquired about Cayo Coco, and were pleasantly surprised by the prices. I guess it made it a more realistic option and meant that we needn't go to Guardalavaca instead. We exchanged some CUCs for Nacional pesos and were heading back home to pick up our things before going to catch the truck to Gibara, when the heavens opened. We were only half way home and it was lashing rain. Typically we were wearing summer clothes and sunglasses. There was thunder and lightening and when we did eventually make it home, there was a power cut too. It was nearly 3pm by the time it had eased off. Gibara was a distant memory. Neither of us fancied getting a truck out there in a storm, with the possibility of being stuck out there a la Portaventura.

We went for lunch, and having been turned away form one place due to Barry's shorts and flip flops ( stupid rule), we trawled the street only to end up in Begonia. A known jinetero hangout. That explained a lot about the clientele - old Brits and Yanks chatting up teenage Cubans. We ate and left there, only to cross the plaza and have a second course in El Parque. After that, we were struggling to find things to do. We ran into the supermarket as it was closing and bought a load of beers, biscuits, fake pringles, and 2 jam cornettos, before retiring to our flat for more home made fun! ( and I wondered why I gained so much weight).
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