La Farola: The Lighthouse Road
The Day the Road Ended

May 9, 2015

What happened…

Andrew writes: Let’s hope all of the crappy things that happened today are coincidental. First, we woke up bright and early, in a pool of sweat, because the air conditioner had stopped at some point in the night. So at 6am, it felt close to 40 degrees in our tiny room. It turns out that power had gone out for much of the city, during the middle of the night, and it wasn’t restored until 7am.

We had a yummy breakfast, and spent most of the whole time talking with our host Illiana. A doctor by day, Illiana had actually learned English while working overseas in Zambia (Africa). Every time we find a host that speaks Spanish and English, we try to gain a better understanding of Cuba, and this morning was no different.

Next up, we set out to find a couple of bottles of purified water. We go through 10L a day usually, and keep a 4L reserve, which was good because we used it all up on La Farola. It’s Saturday though, which meant that the outdoor market was crazy, and the lineups for every other store were crazy too. Finally, it’s mothers day tomorrow, so there were a lot more people out shopping because apparently it’s a big deal here; parties, dinners etc. Every second person was carrying cake down the street!

We popped into a pizzeria for an early lunch. I can’t always stomach the cheap 5 peso pizzas that we find most places, but for some reason, the ones here were really good. Amanda and I sat at our table playing a game with dice, and ate and drank, and had a good time, until the bill came. Once again, we received the “gringo” treatment, except it wasn’t until after we paid, that we realized that the bill was more expensive than it should have been. It was only 10 pesos ($0.40CDN), but the principal seems to be the same. Amanda got pretty upset about this, to me, after the fact.

I agree that it is important for us to try and stay on top of money matters, especially when we are already “blowing” our budget here in Cuba. Still, it’s hard for me to argue with someone over a bill that’s out by so little. Yet, I realize that these can, and will, all add-up, at the end of the day. It’s also a good habit to get into, I think, to check the math before paying, because we run the risk of it being quite a bit of money, as was the case the other day in Tortuguilla.

So after a bit of a row, while we were on the malecon, and taking a time-out from one another, Amanda was accosted by some guys. As she was standing beside the wall, overlooking the water, a pair of guys flipped the rope attaching her glasses. This sort of behaviour is typical of Cuban men, and Amanda takes quite a lot of verbal harassment while we ride, and is usually pretty tolerant. Boy, did she ever let them have it. I wish there was some way for me to make it easier for her.

The afternoon was spent taking part in siesta, resting up for what sounds like might be a bit of a hellish ride tomorrow, and for the next few days, as we cycle the mostly un-paved roads to Moa, and points beyond. We looked into taking a bus to Holguin, the next major city, but the bus only leaves once a week from Baracoa, and it left earlier this morning. So we’ll tough it out, and I’m sure there will be fond memories, and maybe even a story to share with all of you.

Today’s Photographs

No photos

La Farola: The Lighthouse Road
The Day the Road Ended