I'm now calculating how far I can get, and how much time I can spend in Cuba, with the cash that I have. It depends on whether I bike or walk. By my preliminary calculations, I have enough cash to spend around 17 days walking 125 miles, or around 10 days biking around 250 miles. If that's what it comes down to, I now think I'd walk, although I'd prefer to bike if I can find a way to get more time.
At this point, I'm seriously trying to figure out whether I'll be able to get off the island! I'd try to buy the flexible plane ticket, but the payment didn't go through. So I have a fixed plane ticket for around six months from now. (I didn't realize that cash would be such a problem, so I figured it would be best to spend a while in the country.) There don't seem to be any ferries from Cuba. I'm not sure that many boaters stop by the island. I think I can get another flight, but I'm not sure about that yet because of the internet situation.
Travel is often an exercise in feeling incompetent. Not knowing the language, how to do things. Maybe that's part of the appeal.
In Cuba, as more generally, failures keep happening. Get back at it!
After a half hour of trying to connect to the internet, which would block my bank anyways…
I'm feeling stuck in Cuba.
I may have to leave Cuba far earlier than anticipated. That's fine (if I can leave the country). I'm somewhat frustrated by the country anyways.
The tiles in Cuba are beautiful, as in other Latin countries…
I don't think I have enough cash for the bike. Seems hard to get cash. Seems hard to do anything in Cuba.
I don't necessarily even want a bike here. If I only have a few weeks.
I'm now planning to head east, instead of west. If I had longer in Cuba, I'd probably want to go west first, then see the rest of the country to the east. However, I have limited cash, so I plan to start east, towards the more interesting places.
So, it looks like walking, I may be able to make it to Matanzas. Biking, I may also be able to make it to a few beach towns. I think that I'll walk to Matanzas. Maybe there (or on the way) I can find a bike, cash, or a boat.
There's a ton of uncertainty in travel. Also in general. One gradually learns one's way around the culture & geography. Often one has to make educated (or uneducated) guesses. Often, there are chances later to make corrections.
On looking into some of those destinations, they don't look like what I want to see. So, back to the drawing board.
There may not be much of interest to me in Cuba.
I think there's not much to the west.
I could go for a straight shot east, try to make it to santiago, or at least to another port. But then I may get stuck away from an airport.
I think I've often given up too soon. It takes many tries.
Finally booked a place, after some struggles, for the weekend.
In Cuba, it seems like things in general are hard. I'm concerned about how long I can stay, but finding ways! :)
Shaking the laptop around so it can reach the wifi...
In the ongoing saga of my foot massacre, this morning my feet hurt somewhat more than yesterday, but after walking they got used to it. Still sore, but I felt comfortable walking. My sandals held up much better than in previous days.
Today I visited some of the few areas of the city that I have not yet seen. I feel like I have now seen enough of Habana, am ready to go on. Tomorrow (Friday) I plan to walk to the next place, which is in a neighboring part of the metropolitan area, where "North American writer" Ernest Hemingway liked to go.
In one of the areas where I was walking, I got tired of the ubiquitous noise, so I ducked into a row of abandoned buildings, overgrown with plants. I paused there, deciding whether or not to get a bike (I decided not). As I started walking back to the street, I saw a police officer walking towards me. I tried to make room so that we could pass each other, but he stopped in the way. "What are you doing here?" The Cuban police officer asked. "Thinking." "This is a bad place to think," he said. We walked out to the police car, where he looked at my passport. After conferring with other officers, he handed back my passport, saying "alla no vaya mas" (don't go there again). Often when you're a foreigner the police would rather just send you on your way than deal with anything further.
I like Cuba, it has tons of street activity, tasty food, and more. However, I prefer mainland countries. I want to spend more time here, but it looks like the cash situation (my bank card doesn't function here) will probably limit my stay. The bureaucracy is somewhat annoying, but anyways I plan to see what more I can now, maybe come back later to see more of Cuba.
Cuban pharmacies seem to stock largely herbal remedies. I learned that pasiflora (passion flower) ma improve sleep, anxiety, etc. I may try it soon.