Following Hurricane Matthew - Winter 2017 travel blog



It rained more yesterday than the entire time we have been in Florida. There were no storms, just incessant showers about three inches total. It was a good day to pack. We glanced out to see Wiseowl; it was a huddled pile of feathers over a boney frame. Sad! When we saw it again this morning, the rain had removed many of the downy feathers and he looked like a real owl. Kind of a Pinocchio story. The nest it sits in with mom is festooned with resurrection ferns. True to their name they had changed from crumbled yellow to a vibrant green over night.

The drive to Miami was easy until the last twenty miles when accidents brought everything to a halt. We used the Waze app to work our way around it, but it wasn't fun. We are staying in a much nicer hotel than we would afford ourselves that charges $27/night to park. So we left the car in a nearby lot and √úbered back. The driver was deaf-mute, but with pointing and grunting and his phone he communicated with us just fine and drove well. It's nice to see technology give the power to work to the disabled.

We met our well-traveled guide and twenty other well-traveled geezers. Once in Cuba we will also have the services of a local guide and a bus of our own for our entire stay. We did a lot of paperwork including a medical form. We will be inspected by nurses at the airport in Camaguey before we are allowed in. So far Cuba has avoided Zika, chikengunja and many of the other diseases that trouble tropical climes. They aim to keep it that way. The guide struggled to describe Cuba and how we willl feel about what we see. He said that it isn't any one thing, but a sum total of what fifty years of isolation can do to a country and people. He had lived ten years in El Salvador and raved about the lack of crime and violence in Cuba. Because US relations with Cuba are stilll far from normal and the embargo is still in effect, our government requires us to be enrollled in an approved social, humanitarian, or people to people program. We are not free to wander around much or spend time on the gorgeous beaches. Arrangements have been made for us to visit with many locals doing mostly cultural things. I like having free time, but meeting local people will be very interesting and something we could not do on our own. And if I want to be on a beach, their is an endless one twenty minutes from our campground. Cuba is a huge island. By the end of our visit we will have driven about 600 miles and have missed the eastern third of the country.

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