Cuba blog May 6, 2019

Submitted by eagle on Sun, 05/19/2019 - 16:53

Woke up, had Cuban coffee. Walked to the bus station. Outside, took a ride on one of the maquinas, the buses that don't leave from the station. This time it was more of a rough vehicle, looked like it once transported farm animals. Previous vehicles I've been on have included somewhat rough old buses, and a nicer, newer bus.


<truck pix>


Cuba has a complex transportation system. Cubans can take Omnibus Nacionales, inexpensive rides on recent Chinese-made buses that depart from the station. Tickets cost approximately one or two US dollars per hundred kilometers, something like 1-2 cents per kilometer. Tourists from other countries take Viazul, comparable buses but they cost around five times as much, say 5-6 cents per kilometer. Then there are the trucks and buses that pick up and drop off passengers along the way. You don't buy tickets, you just pay cash when you get on board. These cost even less than the Omnibus Nacionales, probably less than one cent per kilometer. I've been taking these, which they let me on (as a foreigner) without problem.


Arrived in Holguin, the birthplace of Fidel Castro if I remember correctly. Tomorrow I may try to visit his casa natal (birth home), if possible.


Walked into town, stopping for a one dollar meal along the way.


This is a beautiful city, and province. After a while in the boring "ride-through country" (as in "flyover country"), it's pleasant to get to the eastern side, which is attractive like the western side. Cuba's kind of like the US in that regard, jejejej. The east and west are beautiful, the center's more boring. It would have been boring to walk the center. It would have been nice to walk the east. But with limited time and cash, I'm planning to bus the rest.


Tomorrow I'll try going to Barracoa, the eastern city. If there aren't buses that go directly there, then I may instead just go to Santiago. From Santiago, I'd consider a side trip.


Now that I'm so close to leaving Cuba (surprisingly fast! I'd expected to spend a few months in the country), I'm finally figuring out how stuff works, the culture, the geography. I'm getting to know what I like about the country, what I dislike, how I want to spend time here, just as I'm getting ready to go. I'm already starting to miss Cuba, before I've even left.