Sadly but fortunately, I am running out of places on my list of places to see in Cuba. I am fortunate because I feel like I have accomplished and seen a lot the island has to offer that most people who visit for a shorter time cant. I have also been able to appreciate Cuba on a whole other level that life in Havana alone couldn’t offer. Sadly, because this means that I am running out of money and time (more for the money than the time) which means I might not be able to re-visit the Bay of Pigs for more dives.
This weekend’s plans barely pulled through. I was exhausted from spring break and the idea of riding in another overnight bus was not appealing at all but I recognize that if I didn’t do Camaguey now, I may not have the time to do it in the future. For this reason, it had to happen even if it meant doing it solo. I looked up bus schedules found a house to stay in then talked a bit to people in the house that had already visited this town and then I set the ball rolling. San Carlos joined the plans but requested we cancel plans to spend the night and day trip it. It was crazy at first but after doing the math, it saved some money so why not. After going back and forth for a while, the plan for this trip was finalized. We took the Friday overnight bus from Havana to Camaguey (9 hours), arrived at 4:30am, walked all around the city all day, and then took the 11:45pm bus to Havana. All said and done, we spent 18 hours total in transit, took a nap in one of the town plazas like bums from 5:00am to 7:0am, walked a lot, navigated with a compass and ate at a really good buffet. Everything sounds insane now but it worked out just fine and I am glad it worked out that way.
Camaguey is Cuba’s city with the most churches. It reminds me of Santa Clara but smaller, with more churches and with French architecture. There was a picture in one of the churches we went to that had a panoramic view of the service held in Camaguey when Pope John Paul II visited.
There was also a lot of art, sculpture and galleries everywhere. We visited the studio of an artist named Martha Perez who uses her art to portray the emancipation of women and the beauty of the plus size woman. She portrays women as independent and capable of earning their own wages. Some of her work utilized the sewing machine as the universal symbol of the working woman. In society especially the Cuban one, a woman is only as beautiful as how well she looks. To break this image most of her paintings feature plus size women (rare in this society) with out of control hair and I think this kind of meant, “we are free from societal (male) expectations”. Her art was just beautiful but they were too expensive to purchase. Anyway, she is scheduled to have an exhibit in Florida soon so if you happen to be around the sunshine state and close to Miami, I highly recommend going to it.
We spent the rest of the time visiting museums. We easily hit up like 10 museums and I think I am officially out of space for anymore museums in this trip.
Three more places stand on my list: Trinidad, Cienfuegos and La isla de la Juventud.