|Our trip plans changed at the last minute. Because there are only three in our group we decided to do the trip in reverse which meant flying to Baracoa first and then working our way back to Havana.
The members of my group are Eileen, from NZ, and Teresa from Alice Springs and we are led by our intrepid tour guide, Nell. Nell is a native Cuban who is passionate about his coutry and adores and admires both Che and Fidel. He is a psychologist and has also studied politics and history as well as engineering so he is an amazing person to talk to. I've taken advantage of his psychologist skills and talked for hours and hours with him (free therapy!).
We left Havana on a mid morning flight on Sunday and flew for 4 and a half hours to Baracoa. When we landed it was so hot and we were ushered in to a small room (the entire plane of passengers). We had to wait there for our luggage to be brought off the plane and then everyone grabbed what belonged to them an them pushed for the exit to get out. Can you imagine how hot and bothered everyone was after the flight and then the wait. It was very scary.
Baracoa is known for the chocolate and coconut they produce. We were privliged to sample both. Each morning for breakfast our host, Wiliam, made hot chocolate. This is similar to the Italian Hot Chocolate that I tend to indulge in every now and then so to start the day with this was a real treat. I also became familiar with the cocorucche. This is a cone made of palm leaf filled with coconut and syrup. It tastes sort of like the anzac biscuit batter I used to steal from the bowl when my mum was baking. Quite nice but very sweet.
We caught a mini bus to the town through streets of cuban houses. All small and looking like they would fall over if a strong wind blew. I was really worried about the standard of accommodation we would have. When we arrived at our casa particular (home stay) I was so surprised. When you went in off the street the houses were quite beautiful. Our casa had beautiful tiles and comfortable furniture and our own bathroom which was heaps better than any I had used since arriving in Cuba. We stayed here for three nights. We ate there most meals and I must say that when we did go out to a cafe for dinner one night I noticed that our casa meals were much better than what you could buy.
While in Baracoa I had many mojitos. They are the best. I think I've got a reputation with our group which is in line with what Aussies are famous for. I love to drink and have fun!
The men in Baracoa are gorgeous. Beautiful bodies and smiles that you can't resist. The only problem is that they find attracting women a sport. You are not supposed to smile back as they take that as an invitation and persist in flirting not just by looking but touching and exploring until you get irrate and angry then they realise they are not going to get what they are after. I had a few of these experiences. I'm learning not to look and smile its not fun.
Whilst in Baracoa we saw heaps of sites and learned about the revolution and also about Cuban culture. We also went to Maguana beach which was fabulous. The clear warm water and tropical sandy beaches was awesome. We also went bush walking and had a swim at a natural waterfall. I've loved every moment.
We left Baracoa via a five hour bus trip and have travelled to Santiago de Cuba....