Friday, 22 March 2013

Cuba - Day 10 - Baracoa To Caleton

Leaving Baracoa with good memories we took the scenic highway, along the route there were people selling chocolate, bananas, oranges and a coconut and jam mix.

This is the "gift" highway scenic route that Fidal gave to this area in 1960 as access previously was only by boat.

Stopping at one guy to buy some sweet bananas he said wait a minute and all his other friends came over and mobbed the car trying to sell anything and everything and they were yelling so it was not very nice, the guy tried to charge us about 20 x what they were worth so no-one there made a sale.

(Photo courtesy of Miriam)

Next guy we saw was sensible and asked a reasonable price so we bought a lot from him.

Arriving in a small town called Imias the road was closed, accidente the policeman said, so we had to go around through the back streets before getting back out onto the man road. 

We came across scenes of despair with people crying, hugging each other, holding hands and some just staring into space like they were owed something so it was not a good look at all.

Getting back up onto the main street we looked left towards town and could see and oddly parked bus and emergency services galore.

It wasn’t until a few minutes later driving down the road an ambulance caught us up, we pull over to let it go or I should probably say let all SIX of them go .... all lights and all sirens they were not mucking about even with the very uneven surface on the road...very sobering  

It is just something you don't see every day .. actually ... I have never seen this before!

We don’t know what happened or the outcome but by judging the mood on the street we suspect at least one (or more) may have died as it was pretty somber to say the least.

No photos out of respect to the families for the injured and or deceased, best to the families involved from us.

The cheerful mood in the car changed to that of wonder and respect given the size of the event for a small town however dooms day had not finished yet.

20 km along the road, people everywhere, buses, police etc and people examining the road a local truck had lost a wheel and gone off the road and rolled down a 10 meter high bank, again no photos out of respect.

We were stopped by the police as they examined the road looking for something which were don’t know.

On our way again we settled in to get to the bank and tank the car, arriving at Guantananmo Ellen and I went into the bank, it was a hell of a mission just to get money but we got it in the end, NOTHING is easy in Cuba other than getting a Casa Particular, getting a Taxi or spending money IF you can get it.

We had a quick lunch stop or pizza the standard lunchtime affair in Cuba, Miriam returning with the fud 

Carrying on our journey we went through Santiago De Cuba but with more interesting things to see we skipped through and out the other side to take the coastline road.

We stopped to sort out which way we were going and saw this a BIG city bus

We did get navigationally challenged at this point, a local stopped to "help", he was there maybe a minute or max 2 then wanted $5 CUC ....  ($5 bucks ... I don't think so)

Peter and I talking with Mr.5CUC

We had stopped right beside a big square with art so that was cool

Heading out from the city our trip started again, neat coastline road with who knows what in stall for us and based on the earlier part of the day nothing would surprise us ... or so we thought 

The road was badly damaged so we were in first gear at times, this was a ship gun turret poking out of the water

Did I mention the road was rough

Nearing the end of the day we started to look for accommodation, spotting a campismo we pulled in to find it was full, one of the guys siad he had a Casa Particular 2 km up the road, 2 rooms and yard to park the car .... perfecto.

Arriving we looked at the place .... right on the waterfront ..... s e r i o u s l y basic with no hot water .... that is us!!! 

Getting sorted we all relaxed and organised tea with our Casa.

A few photos of the place and surroundings ....

The Casa

The local fishing boats and view

USS Montana (see youtube).... Cuban style

Kids in for a swim

After a good day ... sunset

Casa fud ... WOH HOH .. it tasted as good as it looks 

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