To the beach!

Trip Start Apr 02, 2011
Trip End Apr 09, 2011

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Flag of Cuba  ,
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

In the morning, I decided to go down to the stand where I bought those cheap sandals, that gave me blisters on the back of my heels. They are beautiful, but there is a piece of plastic that digs in and cuts everything there.

 So, I went down there, but no one was there. I decided to go and find the alleyway of art on the other side of the neighbourhood. 

My feet in excruciating pain, I kept going and found the alleyway. It was pretty neat, but busy and full of tourists, so I turned the corner and found a few young backpackers sitting on the curb and enjoying some breakfast. 

I started talking english to them and told them about my feet. One of the ladies gave me some amazing bandaids that helped a lot.

I hobbled back to the shoe stand and after some pleading in broken english, they offered to cut the plastic out. That helped a lot too.

Then, I was off for the bus station downtown. I hopped the peso bus and then switched downtown for the Guanabo bus.

When I got there, it was not far to the casa I was staying at. I did, however, have to walk around a massive lake that had formed in the middle of a road, made of sewage and garbage to get there.

Most of the family was hanging out in the kitchen and backyard and I found them easily. The woman who did most of the work for the casa showed me my beautiful room and took me to the mall for water.

We agreed to meet back for dinner after I spent a few hours at the beach.

I took my book and read when suddenly I heard this massive thump behind me. A farmer dude was taking coconuts off of the tree! He climbed up there with an apparatus made from a rope and cut them down with a giant blade. I watched him for a while and went back to my book.

Suddenly, I heard,

"Nina, nina!" and he gave me a coconut which he had cut open to drink from. The juice was still warm from the sun and it was extremely touching that this man, who had almost nothing, is so generous to give a coconut to the chubby white girl lounging on the beach. Before I had a chance to thank him, he was gone off down the road in his horse drawn buggy.

Back at the ranch, as soon as I returned, a really strong wind storm began and the family started boarding up the house! The power went out a few times and I was hoping there would be some sort of crazy hurricane or something.

For dinner, the woman and her mom, Mirtha, prepared a giant feast. I was not encouraged to eat with them, they set up all the food on a table in the dining room for me. The woman sat and talked while I ate, and explained to me what it was that I was eating. I had a few bites of what I thought was pork. I asked what it was, and she kept repeating, "Tortuga tortuga!" I wasn't really getting it, but then she finally got out the dictionary and I learned that meant turtle. She went on to tell me very proudly, how she manages to buy black market tortuga from fishermen in the area.

It was delicious, but was I eating something endangered??? I stopped after that.
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