Mar 29, 2013

An exercise in Cuban carelessness - Varadero (Part 1)

Welcome. Have fun, whatever happens

In 2007, I and four friends of mine decide to organize a dreamed trip to Cuba. In December 2008 our dream adventure come true.

We pass the document check and although nobody is returned, our whole group has returned back, back to bygone times. But we are not alone, every step we take will be closely watched by Che and Fidel, following us from t-shirts, key-chains, billboards and street graffiti. That's why we boldly get lost into this unknown place, exposing us to a moderate dose of communism, retro cars, colonial buildings and endless tranquility.

We get accommodated at the hotel and afterwards go out for a bite. Everything looks rather old, there are abandoned buildings everywhere, and it should be the most glamorous Cuban resort. Time has stopped many decades before we arrive, but this is the main reason to come here, in the first place. Finally, we find a working ... thing and order five Cuba Libres, what else. The proportion of the cocktail ingredients is seriously messed up and we get kicked in the heads by way of welcome. Unfortunately, we don't have a clue that the situation with the cocktails (with little exceptions) won't change for better during the rest of our trip. The food that we get is of the same quality as the drinks. 
Sleepy Varadero
A view from above of the still sleepy Varadero and its early risers.
Every morning
A man cleans diligently his favorite, preparing him for the new day. He is a very old American Dodge, but that does not mean he cannot look good.
Brothers in age, color and descent
On the opposite, a vehicle similar in age, color and nationality is coming - a red and white Ford from the middle of the past century.
A friends' meeting
I wonder if they revved friendly their engines, just like old acquaintances greet each other, remembering the good old times, when they were young and careless?
The golden moment
Despite being quite early, I am not alone on the beach. The sky and the sea reward with gold those who get early.
The sky and the sea are still wondering which garment to put on - the early golden or the daily blue.
Pigeon business
On the roof of the near buildings, a Cuban boy draws my attention, as he takes out some pigeons out of their cages. A similar scene from the book "The King of Havana" by Pedro Juan Gutierrez comes to my mind - the boy "frees" some tamed male birds, which when charm some "chick", lead her to the pigeon cages. And from there the road to the family table is quite short.
Afternoon siesta
Colossal trees keep the few brave men to go out from the tropical sun.
What makes the sky to blush?
As the night falls, the sky blushes at the mere thought of its forthcoming meeting with the Moon.

It is time to get going to Havana and we head to the bus station, where at the entrance we are offered a transport to the capital with some awesome machines, appropriate with local age - Lada Fiver. Unfortunately, we have already bought tickets for the bus and have to turn down this tempting offer.
Lunch work
While we wait for the bus, we watch one of the few really working people under the strong noon sun.
Lunch break
On the other end of the diligence scale, some taxi drivers rest and chat in the shade of the near palm, waiting for customers (to fall from the tree).
To Miami?
A lonely Cuban has gone out  in the sea, to follow his catch or to follow the way to the land of endless possibilities.

Somewhere in the middle of our trip, we stop at the bus station in Matanzas.
Java 350 Black style
A young man is waiting for somebody at the station, and after that somebody does not arrives, he leaves with his cool motorcycle with side-car and helmet put backwards.
Moskvich, Moskvich, Lada
A usual view in Bulgaria up until a decade, this one is from a couple of years ago, some 9,500 km southwest of my country.
Give me the money
While we wait at the station to pick up new travelers, a van parks next to us, coming to pick up the money of the station's cash-desks, I guess.
A Cuban Playboy
After another 40 minutes we stop at roadside rest place, where we find a well preserved and pimped Moskvich.

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