Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Back to the Airport

The next morning it was back to the airport.
Above, finally on the tarmac after several hours, a lot of red tape and pesos, and now waiting in line to board Cubana Airlines. Below, a photo of me with Miguel and his lovely wife. He looked severe, but he was the sweetest man, and as curious about me as I was about him and his wonderful hat. He also sported a neatly trimmed moustache that I liked a lot. He was a total package that I would liked to have had the opportunity to paint. I did draw him in the airport,
which was the real the ice breaker.
After that, we were friends.

Here's a shot of Cuba from the air. I loved the look of the fields,
and the color of the earth.
After landing, going through immigration and customs and money change, we walked out of the airport. An American man named Charlie and a driver were loading Charlie's luggage into the van he'd hired to take him to his casa in the Vedado area of Habana. We didn't know Charlie, but we quickly wound up in his van taxi and shared the fee. It was agreed that Charlie would get dropped off first and the 45 minute drive was spent getting Charlie's history with Cuba. He was spending three days in Habana, and by the end of the ride, we had agreed to meet him the next day to work out the details of a catching a ride in his rental car to the far side of the island. We dropped him, and headed for Habana Vieja, the oldest part of the city. It was raining, and we had no fixed destination since we had
no advance reservation. 

Above is the street outside Nelson's Casa Particular. This casa was highly recommended in Lonely Planet with the only negative listed as small windows in the rooms. After much discussion and checking three or four other places in the dark, it was finally decided to take a room at this casa. The room was available for only this one night, so in the AM we would have to move to another casa. No big deal, I was tired and grateful for a nice place to hang my hat for the night.

But I found the best thing about this casa
in the bathroom. A Sorolla shower curtain!

It had been a long day, we'd had nothing to eat since breakfast,
the rain was bucketing down,
and I was in Cuba.

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