15.05.2008 29 °C
Well, I´m in Mexico City on my way back home.
After Bayamo, I hiked up into the Sierra Maestra mountains with my new Dutch friends to check out the base camp where Fidel, Che and the revolutionaries launched their campaign. Challenging hike and fascinating to be there.
From there we moved onto Santiago De Cuba which prides itself as a cultural and revolutionary hub. Bacardi hailed from here. After dinner in Bacardi´s old palace and a pretty big night out (including salsa, a broken down taxi and a dip in a local pool), we decided to hit the coast and some beach action at Siboney. Sun, surf, lobster, mangoes, coconuts and local beer.
A couple of days on the beach was the perfect way to wind down and I was sad to leave Erwin and Leonie. They´ll be in Australia in November and it´ll be great to show them around.
I flew back to Havana in the middle of the night and managed to blag 1.5 nights at the Hotel National - the most famous and grandiose. After 5 weeks of hostels, cold showers, lumpy beds, fluro lights and street noise, I felt like a bit of comfort before heading home. The National certainly delivered, Caribbean Sea views, thick towels, a piping hot bath, clean sheets and . . . . . room service - get in!!
I had one last day in Havana to roam and I didn´t feel like a tourist anymore. I knew the streets, where the best deals were, how to ward off the tauts and where the best food can be found. That night, I surprised Eliecer at work and we went out for one last night on the town. It was the perfect farewell to Cuba, hanging out with locals in one of the worlds most enchanting and intriguing cities.
I´ll look over my notes on the plane and put in a final comment / summary of the trip - an epilogue if you will, when I get home (with more photos!). I get into Sydney on Saturday morning and looking forward to catching up over the next weeks.
All the best
(Returning) Latin Pata