26 april Santa Maria del Mar (CUBA)

Pure relax at the seaside this morning, on this beach, with a white and soft sand, surrounded by palms as beach umbrella...

In the afternoon, with Jorge, we take the catamaran and do a very relaxing stroll waving in the sea. He tells us about sharks, barracudas, diving, typhoons and hurricanes. He is a former fire-man, he remembers all the rescues done, the unsafe buildings that people, during the cyclones, didn't want to evacuate...

In the evening we go, actually we try to go, to a kind of Latino rave but there were so many people that, even if we were the only foreigners, they didn't let us enter!

[Marta]: "I wanted to cry at the "Salon Rosado de la Tropical" listening, from outside, Adalberto Alvarèz singing: "Y que tu quieres que te den"...

There, with those street-lamps with the poor light, surrounded by huge white eyes and shining smiles I felt so close to them! In the end, we go, by a marvellous taxi, searching another place but nothing to do.

After a fresh drink along the "Malecon" we go back to the hotel! It's 4 am! We are five people, but our taxi could take only four.

What shall we do? I suggest that one of us (Carlo) goes in the trunk... police has never stopped us so far!

According to one of the Murphy principles: at the first check point: ALT! The taxi-driver gets nervous (if the policeman discovered us he would have retired his driving license for six months = no salary for half year). He shows the documents trembling... scary moments! But everything is all right, luckily!

 

27 april Santa Maria del Mar (CUBA)

Jeff is having a rest, Carlo is rolling on the beach imitating "Perro", (the crazy dog) and "yo sigo aqui" writing the last feelings just lived...

We spend the whole morning in the local street markets, the museum of cars (if you consider that modern cars, here, are 50 years old...) a pharmacy of natural herbs and brews, the post office, the numismatic museum till the Floridita, the bar where Hemingway used to spend much time of his Cuban days...

I discover, talking to some people, that, as it happened in Italy during the Fascism, they have a kind of card released by the Government, and monthly, they can receive a well defined quantity of food with that. But, for example, three kilos of rice per month, as yesterday a guy was telling us, after a week were already finished...

"Anyone who does not travel, does not know the value of men." - Ibn Battuta -

 

28 april Santa Maria del Mar (CUBA)

[Charlie]: "You should see "El perro loco", old sea dog, a certified crazy. It's so funny, really crazy!"

In the evening, while Carlo and Jeff go back to the "Casa de la Musica", I go for a walk along El Malecon, among the people who have a stroll with their "Habana Club" always in their hand...

Damn, I have breathed a such magic atmosphere...

29 april Santa Maria del Mar (CUBA)

After the decolonisation of the '50, a military dictator started to govern: Batista. Cuba collapses in the deepest distress, the poor Cubans, already exploited by the Spanish, keeps on their decline...

Only the revolution, organized by university students and headed by an unknown Fidel Castro and a brilliant Argentinian: Che Guevara, manages, with a coup d'etat, to make the dictator escape away...

But the situation doesn't change very much! The dictatorship becomes a Socialism, that is another form of dictatorship, in my opinion. A tough hit happens with the "embargo" by the NATO countries. United States of America in primis.

Embargo means not be able to export but above all import anything; so, million things, used daily by now: diapers, sanitary towels, chewing gums etc. suddenly become very expensive and rare. We tourists, in this way, become their only source to find these things...

After this historical digression, we decide to spend the evening in Boca Ciega, a small town not far from here. A place where the rare televisions not always work, it was so tender watching all these nice families playing domino or cards, sitting around a small table and close to a big stereo as to mean: "my heart beats at music rhythm"!...

After the disco, suddenly, they switch off the lights and all the people go away... we remain alone outside the disco... alone, in a small and isolated town and with the only "taxi" that was going away with our Italian friends... In few seconds I jump in the car, Carlo hesitant follows me, few later even Jeff!

We were three forward and five behind and there was also the drainpine that seemed to offload inside, poisoning us...

Luckily everything ends good... by the way, the air in the capital is unbreathable...

Smog is everywhere, it enters inside you, directly in your lungs, it soaks you and makes you smell... even just walking on the street...

30 april La Habana (CUBA)

In the airport, destination: Cancun, Mexico but only for a technical stop! What a mess to take this plane!

Check-in. Carlo doesn't find his visa! Panic. He searches among all his papers but nothing! They take us to the immigration office, department: "documents lost ".

They confiscate his passport, shut the door and leave us waiting for so long.

Metal detector. It's Carlo's turn. It begins sounding. They stop him to ransack but meanwhile his bag is rolling under the metal detector for objects... it starts sounding that too!

They confiscate his little scissors for the second time... but in the end he passes... will we manage to board?

 

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