"The important thing is to know what is your state of mind when you arrive, not where you arrive."
- Seneca -

22 april Santa Maria del Mar (CUBA)

After endless lines and checks, at last we go outside the airport... Here Cuba!

Just as we read it, as we saw it in the documentaries or heard by people that have been here before!

Cars '50ers style, as the one used by John F. Kennedy, Cadillac, huge and lived. Beautiful smiling girls everywhere!

During the transfer from the airport to our hotel, we start to taste this paradise, workers along the roads waiting for weird buses, very old cars on the way (often broken)...

Santa Maria del Mar is just a long road, nearly lightened that reminded me of Phan Thiet, Vietnam.

We go for a stroll and we meet a guy: "Amigo, donde esta una discoteca?" He tells us to wait and soon comes back with two little girls: maximum 14 years old! We look at him surprised-bewildered-disgusted and we go away...

On the way back to our hotel we meet a group of girls and we spend some time with them jocking and laughing. They explain us that is forbidden for Cuban girls to be seen with tourists, they risk to be arrested! Fidel doesn't want! By the way, it's so weird to see along the road many huge advertising boards supporting the revolution, Che Guevara or against Bush.

Local currency is "Cuban convertible peso" and "Cuban peso"; the first is used just by the tourists... the second by the locals and it is worth about 1/24 of the first one...

Talking to one of the security guys of our hotel, he confesses us that he has one of the most paid job: 20$ per month...

"Cuba magical land, Cuba caliente land, loved and hated, place of courage and uthopia ...
Strong of colors and caressed by the smile of your people... Killed by the human madness you have always emerged with our heads held high.
Cuba magical land, Cuba caliente land, where nature is still owner, where the quietness is queen ...
Where the myth is legend, where the sentiment prevails over the reason ...
Beautiful and mysterious, green and luxuriant.
Cuba magical land, Cuba caliente land, full of disputes ...
Wonderful lady, I hope to see you again one day, I hope to relive your essence again, I hope to breathe you again...
I hope to feel me free again. "

- Anonymous -

23 april Santa Maria del Mar (CUBA)

Wake up at the dawn (thanks to the jet lag!) and we go to the sea all day long! Carlo jumps, rolls on the beach, runs everywhere, he seems a just set free dog!

This is the beach of the Cubans, we "tourists" are really rare here! Then, today is Sunday and: "Non se trabaha...!" They are all here!

[Charlie]: ..."I was thinking about Cubans girls who come to Italy... Why? You live in paradise, people are always smiling! Even if they don't have the technology that has "attacked" and defeated us ", big cars, expensive outfits etc. they live deluxe! I love everything of these places: the sun, the sea, the smiles, the fruit, the nature, the endless days, the music, the dance, the women, the satire, the rum, the brotherhood, their chats without taboo, their way to face the problems... always smiling... and they are the "poor"! We are the poor".

In the evening we decide to go to dance, but at 6.30 pm we lay down some minutes on the bed, we haven't been sleeping for days... and we wake up 12 hours later...

 

"People travel to wonder of the mountains, rivers, stars ... and pass beside themselves without wondering."
- St. Augustine -

24 april La Habana (CUBA)

It sounds so weird when I say: "I have had a walk around La Habana!"

We have seen such wonderful lanes full of people, those sounds, those scents, the colonial houses, witnesses of a past splendour, the placard of Fidel's regime, that remembers, as a brain washing that you have to support Socialism and its ideas!

But then, you see the decay and the poor hygienic-sanitary conditions and you wonder: "Is this Socialism or Communism or as you want to define it, on behalf of the people?"

You can't give an answer, actually, you know the answer but you want to hear it directly from them, by whom really lives it. You ask to the taxi driver, to the bar man, to the parker: "So, how is Fidel government like?" And they, with an expression mixed by suspicious and diplomatic, answer you: "I don't know, I don't know other!" And I still wonder, how that taxi driver will feel to take our 15 euro from the centre of La Habana till our hotel when his salary is 15/18 $ per month? Considering that he must give all that he earns to the "Gobierno".

Yesterday at the bar, tyred of Charlie's continuous revolutionary thoughts, I have made him talk to our barman... talking about their difficult situation (he earns 10 euro per month) he was almost going to cry; Charlie has stopped talking.

"Communism" is a wonderful "philosophy of life", important principles but absolutely not applicable... I really think that when Fidel dies all these will change, there will be a filo-American Government which will abolish also the "embargo" and maybe this island will bloom again... no one, anyway, will ever steal their smiles!

We visit "Plaza de la Revolucion" where the Mass was celebrated when the Pope came to Cuba and that can keep almost one million people. With a huge Che Guevara who remembers: "Hasta la victoria siempre!"

In the evening we go to a disco: "La casa de la musica". I felt ashamed to be Italian while I was there. I have never seen so many horny 65ers and more, with no dignity all together! You saw them walking in this disco across very young girls, maybe younger than their daughters in Italy...

Carlo and Jeff, just after entering, start talking with two pretty girls, but they soon underlined that: "We are not going to pay...!" As soon as they heard that, they went away searching other... chickens!

[Charlie]: "I'm sitting on the balcony with a good glass of rhum and a cigar in my hand (I feel as Che Guevara); each day I breath, I talk with the people of this place, I stare and think many things, maybe too many! Tonight, for example, I felt bad! That disco was so sad! Wonderful girls, impressive fusion of races! Too bad that there were those infamous that with some coins they acted as play-boys! What gloominess! It looks a modern slavery!"

25 april Santa Maria del Mar (CUBA)

In the evening we go to a very characteristic restaurant: "Casa de la Musica"! Damn! We have paid a lot! They only think about money here? Tourist = $

After dinner, we go to a wonderful club: il "Gato Tuerto"!

There was a famous Cuban singer, 65ers, delicious! She sang classical Spanish songs with a very melodic voice, a real show-woman, she has involved the audience in a really nice way and has made us taste another little piece of Cuba.

 

"I am a traveller and a navigator, and everyday I discover some new region within my soul."

- Gibran Kalhil - (The prophet)

 

 

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