Greetings from Santiago de Cuba! Internet access is, once again, difficult. We are anchored off a marina at Punta Gorda (you aren’t allowed to put your boat just anywhere…there are prescribed government marinas where all foreigners are required to stay) and it’s an hour’s trip by ferry to the city of Santiago…and it only goes thrice a day, so I had to get up at 5 a.m. to post this.
I get wifi in the park, having purchased a card with password, but my tablet battery only lasts an hour, so I am racing to get this out before it dies on me! No idea where I can recharge the device, but if I find some place, I will be doing better posts. For now, please enjoy these pictures of the beautiful city, second only to Havana in architecture, culture, and even more historical.
The fort of El Morro is the best preserved in Latin America, a glorious structure that greeted us when we sailed into the protected harbour of Punta Gorda. We have yet to get ourselves over there and have a look inside.
Loving Cuba. The people are warm and friendly and quick to strike up a conversation. It’s good to be able to speak Spanish, if I come into town alone I get taken for a local. I can sit in the park and nobody bothers me. It’s such a beautiful place, orderly and clean, no rubbish anywhere, Cubanos take such pride int heir country and such good care of everything.
I love that they work with what they have, and manage to live well despite the ridiculous U.S. sanctions against them. Their old cars are spectacularly well-preserved, and about 80% of the old buildings have been restored perfectly.
There are lots of tourists here…Canadians, especially, because their close relations with Cuba afford them all sorts of privileges. But we let the tour groups drift past, we come into town on the morning ferry, and sit in the park like the old men, reading the papers and munching on street snacks, taking it all in slowly, giving the city time to unfold and reveal itself to us.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, you guys. I hope to be able to post more and at length, some other time.
By the way, Dad, tried to send you an e-mail, but Gmail doesn’t work in Cuba, so we’ll have to find some other way to communicate…hope you are well and all set up to have a nice Christmas. Love, N.