Transported

Trip Start Jan 16, 2007
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Trip End Mar 01, 2007


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Flag of Cuba  ,
Sunday, February 4, 2007

My Spanish must be improving. On the trip back from the Che Memorial yesterday, I negotiated a lift to the bus for this morning with the driver, Miguel, over the clatter of the horse-drawn coach. Since he dropped me off at Parque Cespedes, I'm not sure he understands my address, let alone my intent. He is miraculously at the door before 7am this morning, a brazier lit under the carriage as his tail light in the predawn.

Once more we're doing something prohibido. The coaches are meant for Cubans only. Miguel has plastic tarps down the sides as a partial screen, but the blonde kid delightedly chatting about the horse at the top of her lungs in English screams Tourist. When we get to a main road, he slows down, scans ahead, then turns the horse around and up a different side street. Policia.

**

Julie strikes up a conversation with two hotties from Turkey at the bus depot. She's often better than travelling with a smooth-talking guy -- always getting in concourse with the cutest women.

They're in transit from Santiago, enroute to Trinidad. We wax poetic about our casa there, pass out one of Odalis's cards. (See my final entry for details on all our casas.) I also advocate for checking out the Santeria church in Trinidad which we never got to. Maybe I somehow get a vicarious connection to it by this method? Who knows.

Turkish hottie #1 -- not even going to try an approximation of her name -- has a mammoth pack, but they're only here for two weeks. Is it filled with clothes? Cosmetics? Perhaps this is the cost of looking good after a nine-hour bus ride. I smell. The long (or short) nights and lack of clean clothes are sadly apparent on us all, but these two look ready for a night on the town.

**

Which will last longer? The Castro regime or the nation's autopista? The bus trip from Santa Clara to Havana is akin to a poor vessel in rough seas. We wallow about the three lanes of tarmac, which is intent on slowly melting into the gently undulating land about us.

Fidel's Cuba has double the freeway's tenure, but the biggest obstacles it faces are evident all about us -- warped roads, crumbling exit ramps, clusters of Cubans at every overpass, trying to catch some kind of transport to some place else.
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