More food!

Trip Start Dec 12, 2007
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Sunday, January 13, 2008

We awoke on the 9th of January after a big sleep in.  Although it was a change that I didnt wake up from the bloody roosters for once making a big racket.  We walked into the Casa to be presented with.... yep!  A HUGE breakfast.  Today we didnt do much though, except walk up a road to a hotel to look out over the valley, as the hotel was a bit of a tourist thing up on the hill.  The view was definitely beautiful though and you could see for miles.  So for most of the day we just relaxed in the town square for ages, just watching life go by.  Alot of the people dont do anything here, its funny.  I think they just rely alot on tourism and grown their own food.  A very relaxed way of life.

In the night we bought a 1L bottle of scotch for only 4.50 CUC ($3.80 AUD) and came back to our casa for drinks and play some more chess.  Theres a guy living here in one of the Casa´s that looks like Cuba Gooding Jnr (which is funny as we are in Cuba).  He said he wasnt good at chess, but when he played he kicked our ass.  Then he proceeded to tell us that the town he grew up in Cuba had one of the worlds best chess players there, and everyone in the town plays the game religiously! (this you can see simply by wondering the streets, seeing old people relaxing on corners with their chess set).  The same night we also played ball games with the  local children living here, which was alot of fun and they appreciated it lots.  The parents also appreciated it as the kids slept fantastic that night.

The 4.45am alarm of a hundred Roosters marking their territory sounds once again and I awake.  As usual, we waltzed in to eat our huge breakfast and then retired to our rooms in an attempt to digest the food.  After digesting enough to walk, we headed off once more and commenced our 6km walk up a mountain to another resort called Hotel los Jazmines to admire its stunning view of the surrounding area.  Once more, the locals making use of the busloads of fat tourists that appear on a regular basis here, by selling them fake and overpriced merchandise.  We sat by and laughed, as the tourists wouldnt know the wiser, haha.  From here the sun shinned irregulary through the blue patches in the sky amoungst the scattered clouds.  The valley constantly being lit up by the suns rays extended far to the horizon, bringing to life the huge pillars that tower  the tobaco leaf fields.  I had to take 3 photos of the scenery to fit it all in, as ill stitch the photos together later.  This really has to be admired by your own eyes to appreciate.

The long walk back through the winding road over the mountain was a little tedius due to sunburn, but i developed a way to wear my shirt on my head to let the breeze pass over my body, but still keep me in shade.  Fatigued through we rested once more in the town square where we watched life go by once more for a few hours in which seemed to go by just as slow.  Dinner was fish and the usual 5kg of fruit and other food, that we consumed like starving children.  Its now become apparent joke with me and the Grandma of the family that I have to wear a bib, due to my incompitance with pooring things, haha!  She happy and always singing this lady - its great!

On the 12th, I woke up in my usual manner with the Roosters making their prescents known in the world.  The usual procedure for the morning kicked on and passed without hitch.  We have now put on all the weight that we lost starving in Havana.  The morning sun slowly moves across our porch until I have no more shade to retreat back into, signifying its time to head out exploring again.  Today we were advised to visit Dos Hermanas, which is ´two sisters´in Inglis.  The walk was long and hot, but thanks to me wearing my shirt on my head it made it easier.  After walking through the country for an hour and a half we arrived at Dos Hermanas.  The valley is in the middle of all the pillars, rising hundreds of metres up, which echo with symphany when I ´cooeeed´.  Dos Hermanas is a section of a pillar which is covered in paint, 80m up at 120m wide illistrating evolution between Crustations, Dinosours, early mamals to homo sapiens on the far end.  Relaxing on our backs on the grass admiring the surroundings, I attempted to steer clear from the bar and restaurant next to me, which housed 6 or 7 dozen of unapreciative tourists that flock like sheep in their air conditioned busses.  Les than a handful of them actually removed themselves from the food and wine to admire what they were actually here to see.    For myself, being stuck somewhere inbetween the tourists and the locals, I still feel that I´m searching for my little groove.

This is our last night with our familie(s), we bought a bottle of rum and vodka for them that 3 of us devoured ovr a few games of billiards, in which the rum was uncannilly helping me this time, as I nearly remained flawless.  After we went to the town square that got transformed into la fiesta at night, before retiring to bed.

the 13th came, and I awake to the roosters without failure.  Eventually removing my slumped body out of bed to shower, I was finally ready for my last day in Cuba.  As it does every day in this beautiful place, the sun shines and the grass is so green.  We ate our final supersized breakfast and walked out to purchase our tickets back to Havana.  We originally planned on seeing more of Cuba, but once settling in to the countryside style of life, we found it hard to leave, and were glad we made the decision to stay and get to know Cuban life more.  Before we left, we relaxed and wrote our journal and counted down the remaining hours we had left with the family.  We said our goodbyes which was sad and hit the road once more.  They stood out the front of their Casa waving until we walked out of site.

At the bus station, we were again plugged back into the travel stream, meeting a few Aussies, that was a nice change as we havn´t meat many on this trip.  A girl from Adelaide, Blackwood actually!! haha, so close to home!  We immediately all discussed and agreed on how good Farmers Union Iced Coffee is back home and complained how much we miss it...  (You´ll only know the feeling if your South Australian).

For me Cuba has been alot of things.  At first I was emotionally distracted as I did not like the thought of being stuck in Cuba with no food, and no exit ticket.  The experience soon changed very dramatically, especially once living life in the Cuban Mountains.  To me Cuba has so much to offer and the ability to change ones perspective if you have the guts to let go of the rails and let it take you.  For me the people have been nothing but supportive, friendly and open.  Life here is void of any capatalist influence, which is a refreshing change.  The environment in the majority of the country is unspoiled and can light up your eyes when viewing its beauty.
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