February 23 Beach day.

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There is hardly a breeze at all. At 8am it is starting to get hot. Varadero will be quiet, all of the resort beaches will be packed tightly. Yesterday was cool but there were a lot of people on the beach, good sunburning weather. We are off to the bus station to get tickets (hopefully).

I’m sure Elisa and Pepe think we do nothing but sleep, We arrive from Canada starting our day at 2am their time, by the time suppertime rolls around we are ready for bed so if Pepe is cooking as soon as the door closes between our side and his we are heading to bed. It takes us a day to get used to the sun so we’re recovering from the trip and the sun the second day, so we are early to bed again. The next day we usually head out on the first bus out of town which can be early. They only see us recovering from the trip before heading out. When we get back, we have been in country for almost a month, and we’re about ready to head home, we’re tired, we’ve worked reasonably hard, for us, seeing the sites, walking the trails and the city streets, been bounced and shaken in buses, cabs, bicycle taxis, and coches. After a month we are ready to go home, eat our own food, sleep in our own bed, get up and down without a schedule and get our life back to normal. Elisa and Pepe’s is where we start our wind down. Elisa and Pepe’s is like our cuban home.

We had a long trip to get here and we slept over 12 hours the first night and then turned around and did it again last night. We were up and out on the patio watching the world go by when Pepe emerged onto his patio this morning. He looked a little worse for wear but breakfast would only be a minute, No rush from us, we were having a lazy day. It was a disappointment to see the school with no kids in it. But they are fixing up the grounds and there were people working on what looked like kitchen equipment from a block away. They had it out in the yard, cleaning and scraping it. Next time we come there it looks like it will be busy with kids again. That will be nice to see.

Surprisingly No bus tickets! (Come 40 minutes before!) Grrr. Viazul has a nasty letter coming. We did our tour of the really nice art galleries and there are a few paintings I would love, but at several hundred dollars a pop I’m not really interested. The other problem for us is wall space. A big piece of art is hard to find a place for in our house. We have the walls full, not crowded but full.

We saw a nice piece of ceramic kitsch in one of the casas and Bonnie said “That looks like our Cuba.” The piece was a facade of a couple houses, there was laundry hanging on the second floor, the third was looking a little less than rustic, the first was showy and dressed up nice, I think it even had a little casa sign on it. It was our style of Cuba, and we were on the prowl for it. It was probably one of the standard kitsch items from a few years ago if we found a backwater craft stall somewhere we might find one. We prowled and prowled but no luck. We did find a piece of Royal Palm carved by a local craftsman who uses Matanzasas as his model. At least that was the spiel and it was unique in all the stalls we have seen so far and we have seen a crap load of them during the search. We picked it up and would be pretty sure it would fit in our carry on. (It did diagonally!)

We have a little more space in our luggage this year, we didn’t pack nearly as hard as we did the last couple years. We figured laundry was easier than carting large bags around. Bonnie did most of her socks and underware in the room. Her T-shirts and shorts went with my laundry and were given to the casa owners for washing. The total cost for our laundry was $6CUC in Baracoa and $3CUC in Holguin. We aren’t bringing anything home that is clean other than a pair of underwear or two.

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