Baracoa

Trip Start Mar 06, 2009
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19
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Trip End Mar 06, 2010


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Flag of Cuba  , Guantánamo,
Monday, May 25, 2009

Baracoa is a tropical village at the far end of Cuba. It is surrounded by lush jungle and has a quaint fishing village next to it, called Boca De Miel which is famous for the brightly coloured snails that habitat there. We took a trek with a local guide in the national park who took us down ladders made up of branches and old bits of string and the viewing platform was about as sturdy as jelly but it was great fun. Kim's flip flop's broke during the walk because of the mud and by the time we returned Craig had fastened together true Steve Irwin style using reeds and we were covered in bright orange mud from the wet path.

Our guidebook came to it true colours once again when it directed us to the nearest beach, 6km's away. We decided to walk there and back and take only a few pesos for snacks. After walking for an hour and a half under the middday sun (about 32 degrees) and still no coast in sight things became discouraging. Over 2 hours later we finally arrived at what was meant to be the beach. It was a coconut graveuyard with added branches for good measure however it is where the river meets the ocean (the ocean's current was too strong to swim) so we were able to cool off in the river before having to haggle our way back home on a horse and cart. The horse was so tired, after 500 meters and all our money gone, the horse gave out, he was on strike and nobody could do anything about it... so it was another long walk home.
One evening we were on our balcony and our neighbour who was already tipsy started to chat with us across the street. He invited us for drinks at his house, Craig took him up on the offer. Armed with a bottle of Havana club Craig wandered over in his p.j.'s for a night cap. He sat in Alexander's living room which was the only finished room in this poor man's house. Despite having next to nothing, no income and he was bright spirited and full of positivity. He had an 8 year old son and a 4 month old baby and his wife was studying her Masters, the whole family scrapes by selling items from their home that survived a hurricane some years ago. A few days later when we were leaving Baracoa, they gave us 2 souvenir dolls made by them with wires, bits of cloth and buttons. We took photos of their baby girl and the rest of the family as they can't afford them. It is something take for granted with our memory cards storing over 1000 photos. Craig left his cherished Dunlop Vollies as a parting gift and we left Baracoa with warm hearts.
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