Havana, Cuba (Day 4)

11059658_649655660528_2106706589650969062_n(Photo by VB)

On our closed-top hop-on-hop-off bus yesterday, we got open-top hop-on-hop-off envy… so today we were the lucky ones. We hopped on and grabbed some seats on the upper deck so we could soak up the sun. But we didn’t hop off because there was bugger all to hop off for. So we just sat in our sunny seats and went around in a massive circle until we reached the beginning again. It was cool to see the outer boroughs though.

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We then hopped into a Coco Taxi (lots of hopping today) and went to Plaza de Armas for a spot of lunch at Paladar Dona Eulalia. We all ordered the fish with red / white wine sauce (mainly because it had the word ‘wine’ in the description) and it was delicious. The rice and beans were… well, they were rice and beans. We accidentally ordered a ‘frothy mojito’ and nearly choked on the mashed-up-mint-leaves. The Ron Collins made it better. It made everything better.

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(Photos by VB)

After that, we went to Andos Mundos hotel’s rooftop bar and baked to a golden crisp while our Pina Coladas fermented and curdled before our very eyes. It was like drinking a pint of where-cream-meets-antifreeze. PO-TENT. The cocktails came in nifty pineapple ‘bowls’ but we had a horrible feeling they might be recycled.

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Dinner was at a random joint near last night’s place – it wasn’t anything to sing home about which is just as well because I can’t remember the name. More fish. And rice. And beans.

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We flagged a rather sexy chevvy and felt sexy as hell driving along the malecon towards Hotel Nationale. We arrived in style; people were pointing at us and admiring our motor. Everyone looked well jel. It felt good.

We had a couple of cocktails in the ‘celebrity bar’ (no celebrities) and then headed outside for a Daiquiri and some live Cuban music.

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(Photo by VB)

Because I’ve been banging on about the malecon for days (it features prominently in the book ‘Dirty Havana Trilogy’), we finally had a night-time stroll. The picture the book painted wasn’t quite reflective of today’s malecon. The book made it sound sexy, seedy, dirty, hot and wild. But, in fact, it was just a hang-out for randy teens.

In complete contrast to our arrival, we made our way home via a ghetto-Coco-taxi. Our driver blasted out gangster beats as he drove his little yellow bubble car back to Habana centro. And then… THEN he put the fairy lights on. We felt so damn cool.

Oh oh oh – and before I close this journal and hit the hay – there are NO TAMPONS IN CUBA. I swear. It’s the most ridiculous and uncomfortable situation (sorry to any dudes reading this but, come on, you know the score, get over it). Honest to god, they do not sell them ANYWHERE. And it’s over 30 degrees in the heat of the day. Not. Ideal. Our home-stay mama told me they’re not available to locals. How unfair?!

Another thing; the shops out here stock sweet FA. Except rum. And oil. And cartons of rum. And olives if you’re lucky. And more rum.

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(Photos by VB)

Forget about the lack of WiFi, if I lived out here, I’d starve to death and end up bleeding all over the place while I was at it. Sorry – went a bit far.

On that note, na night.

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