A Week in Cuba - Part 7

A moment in history happened this morning, Obama announced the opening of an Embassy in Havana and DC and the reconnection of full relations with Cuba.  Our casa particular ladies were cheering when this came on the news.

we took the ferry from Old Havana across the bay to Casablanca.  The ride is like 5 minutes. 

I read about the Hershey train and how slow and crappy it is and it sounded awesome to me and a great way to see another part of Cuba.  The Hershey train was built by the Hershey chocolate company and when the sugar and chocolate industry went bust and Fidel kicked them out the state took over the electric Hershey train and now it slowly takes Cubans back and forth between the Matanzas and Havana.  Some days it doesn't work, and they say it always arrives late.  It leaves on time though.  Casablanca is the side with the fortress and walls.

art from the Havana Biannual.  I'm getting so much more air than Jen and I don't know what my pinky is doing.

polarizer lens filter, don't know what is better.

big Jesus Cristo statue at the top of a long sweaty hill while we waited the hour + for the train departure time.

a pretty good visual of how things are knackered in Cuba.

lots of the track just covered in dirt, don't know how this works but I guess it does.  Also if we derailed we are going so slow that we would come to a full stop in 3 seconds.

when we got on the guy on the left motioned for us to sit there.  Jen doesn't look so comfortable with that.  He is missing fingers and dude on the right is missing an arm.  They started talking to us and asking us where we were from and even defended us later to another dude telling him he's dumb and that we are Korean in origin but are Americans.  he took me up to the front to take photos and made people move and I knew these guys were ok.

Carlos estimated we were going 20 km/h at our fastest.

depending on who you talk to this was the best experience of the trip.  I talked to Carlos (bottom) and his brother for the whole 45 min trip to Guanabo.  My crappy spanish and body language was enough to converse a little.  They love Fidel and Che.  They think the new relations with america are just talk and nothing's gonna happen.  They were just good hearted guys.  I really recommend the Hershey train for experiences like this.  Because of this there is a warmer spot in my heart for Cuba.  

before the train pulled out Carlos stuck his and out the window and we shook hands and he said a heart felt "amigo" and the train started on.  Like the tourist a-holes we are, our faces were too busy being stuck to our camera screens to see that they were waving goodbye to us.

so we are technically in Guanabo, the eastern most beach of the Playas del Este of Havana.

knowing the basic direction we needed to go we started walking, Jen was not feeling very confident about this but I made her look like she was having fun.  After 10 minutes a taxi came along and after 5 min of driving we were at the beach.

Guanabo is a cuban beach, meaning you don't see any foreigners here.

wanting to do as the Cubans do I bought this bottle of Havana Club 3 year rum for $1.80.  Only the Cubans would have a bought a full 750 ml bottle and not this halfie

after walking for 45 min through all the playas del este we were super hungry and needed to eat and the only thing around was street meat and Jen did not want to experience the wrath of Maceo again so we taxi'd it in a 1955 something or other back to Havana

Oh and did I mention that this is my soon to be Mrs.?  I asked her to marry me, and she said yes.


this picadillo on the left is the prime suspect for what gave me Maceo's revenge.  Picadillo is delicious though so I ate a lot of it.  Maceo's revenge would be harsher and longer for me :(

as we lay on the bed watching the twilight drift away we felt at ease knowing that tomorrow we would be in Mexico at a wedding party overlooking the ocean.  Nothing is easy in Cuba though so stay tuned for an unexpected adventure.