Yesterday I wrote about how I was able to go to Cuba and some of my thoughts about it. Here are some additional ones. Things are very, very reasonable, really even cheap. Hotels, food, everything. Almost everyone took home cigars and Cuban rum. Neither one particularly interested us, so we came back with nothing which the man at US Customs had a hard time believing!
I have to share one of the best experiences I’ve ever had traveling. The head fishing guide at the Grand Slam Fish Club told me during the indoctrination the first day we got to the island that on Tuesday and Friday the boats would go in to a restaurant at Sirena Beach, and I could meet them for lunch. I was able to get one of the only two taxicabs on the island to take me there and it will remain with me for a long time. The brilliance of white sand and the blue-green Caribbean on my left, a thatched roof large open air building in front of me, and to my right a large area of the water had been fenced. I couldn’t figure out what that was about.
I got there a few minutes before my husband and Jack did. Two men walked out of the building that was the open air restaurant. One jumped into the water, and the other walked down the dock to a raised platform. Keep in mind I didn’t pay an admittance fee – and for the next twenty minutes, dolphins performed by clapping, turning somersaults, dancing on the water, and then one of the men stood on the noses of the two as they gave him a ride across the lagoon. Simply spectacular. Here’s a photo:
As if that wasn’t spectacular enough, what followed was a foodie’s dream – a 2 1/2 pound lobster tail with fish, shrimp, salads, and all kinds of other foods. Oh yeah, paid about $4.00 for it. I wasn’t sure it got any better than that! I did a Happy Dance for several days in anticipation of going again. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a cab the next time – the two were in use – but my husband said not to worry, he’d eaten the one he’d ordered for me. Thanks!
What’s interesting to me is that a lot of the population wasn’t even born when the embargo went into effect. That was over 50 years ago. I don’t think many people wonder why it came about, just that they can’t travel to Cuba.
We said goodbye to the island, feeling very thankful we’d had the chance to visit it, but also very thankful to be going home to a place where we were free. The last night in Havana we ate sloppy joes at the place they were born, “Sloppy Joe’s Restaurant.” The image that will stay with me is when my husband and I followed the hostess to our table and my husband saw a man eating a large hamburger and said, “That looks great.” The man’s answer was, “We hate Americans. Go home.” He was about thirty years old. The embargo and the tense feelings between the US and Cuba had happened over twenty years before he was born. Learned behavior, but one I’ve not run into before.
While parts of Cuba are beautiful beyond belief, like so many things, there is also ugliness, I definitely had a beautiful view from our room. It led me to write Murder at Cayo Largo.
Thanks for reading these musings. I’m giving away one ebook of Kelly’s Koffee Shop, the first in the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series, of which the new book will be a part. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment. I invite you to go to www.dianneharman.com and sign up for my newsletter and get some free books. Enjoy and good luck!