The Airbnb I rented for the weekend in Cienfuegos, when I arrived, only available for the first night (Friday). Offered to put me up other night at relative's place. I asked for cash back. They said OK. Later, found out that the cash man wouldn't arrive until next week. It's a small city. Horses.
Stayed the second night (Saturday) at the relative's, down the street. I've seen the city, ready to go on. Also, getting tired of the noise of the city, ready for more countryside, small towns. Instead of a third night of hosting, the host is making me chicken, rice, potatoes. I hope enough for a few days.
Getting ready to walk. Sore feet. Shoes, but w/ holes. Looks like a beautiful route.
Running low on cash - around one dollar in Cuban currency, a hundred dollars in US currency. Tried to exchange the hundred yesterday, but the cadeca (currency exchange) was closed. Hoping that the food I carry plus one dollar, plus whatever fruit I find or resources are given to me, suffice to make it to Trinidad. 80 km.
Cuban cities are loud. On every street, at every corner, people speak, vendors hawk their wares. After walking dozens of blocks, still no quiet spot. Opposite of American cities, where you can walk dozens of blocks without running into people (but often there are louder motor noises there).
I'm now thinking of trying to walk, hitchhike, bike, somehow get to the eastern side of Cuba. Then, hope for a boat or plane out of the country, or else fly or hitchhike back to the western side of the country.
Now my life looks kind of like my screensavers, TV shows, etc.! :)
The Airbnb host made me some chicken, rice, french fries, ham sandwich, mangoes, mango juice, toast, etc. Should be enough to last at least most of the trip!
Walked out of the city of Cienfuegos. Around the outskirts (of town), a horse carriage driver offered to take me some distance. Fun ride!
<horse ride pix>
Kept walking. Something like 32-33 degrees C, humid. Difficult yet gorgeous walk!
In the evening, it started to rain. Some lightning too. Decided to keep walking until the next plausible camp spot. Took longer than expected, at least covered some solid distance. It's 80 km to my next destination, Trinidad. I'm planning to get there over around three days.
Around here is a turning point. I want to keep going to eastern Cuba. That may/could make it more complicated to get to Habana if it makes sense for the flight. Not sure yet (what to do), kind of leaning towards just walking Cuba anyways, then figuring out how to leave.
I learned that apparently there's a bus that covers 80 km for around two dollars (US). If that's the going rate, then I may bus some portion of it, just to stretch my cash. I also learned that hitchhiking is fairly common in Cuba.
I now have a hundred dollar US bill, which I want to exchange w/ another person instead of a bank or cadeca, because the latter charge an anti-US fee of 10% on top of the exchange rate. Other than that, I'm out of cash. Somewhat scary to face the plausibility/plausible outcome of being in a communist country for a few months w/o cash, but I think it'll be fine. Also, I feel somewhat stupid about it, because stuff is so inexpensive here that it's a convenient place to spend money/consume.
I'm feeling somewhat better psychologically. I think in part it's the time in the countryside and small towns. In Miami, I was consistently feeling city stresses. I'd already seen the countryside around Miami, so I had no immediate escape route. Here, when I feel city stresses, it makes it even more compelling for me to keep traveling through the country. Then, I can get to another city!
I appreciate the novelty of travel. Every day, new situations!
Latin people are quite social/sociable, warm, friendly. I think that spending time among such people makes me feel happier.
I'm quite active, traveling, thinking, surviving. That keeps me busy, which I think can also improve mental tone.
Overall I very much appreciate having chosen to go. I am continuing on! :)