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  • Cuban Blog Day #14 Be Specific, or Don't. It Doesn't Matter
Cuban Blog Day #14 Be Specific, or Don't. It Doesn't Matter
Written by
Kari Redmond
August 2014
Written by
Kari Redmond
August 2014

Cuban Blog Day #14  Be Specific, or Don’t. It Doesn’t Matter


The car I’d arranged for the next day to take me to Santa Clara, was, you guessed it, late. Nearly two hours, which pretty much negated the whole reason I was taking a car and not the bus. On top of being late to pick me up, I also enjoyed a very un-scenic drive around the town of Camaguey for about an hour or so before, you guessed it, picking up two other passengers.  And, you guessed it, the price didn’t change.

When I finally arrived in Santa Clara, I went walking to find the famous Che memorial.  It was a very hot day and a lot longer of a walk than I was anticipating.  Once at the memorial I walked around and read all of the statues. Then, I went inside to the museum and the mausoleum where Che and 29 other soldiers were brought after finding their bodies in Bolivia in 1997.

Aside from being the site of the famous Battle of Santa Clara, which brought Che to Fidel’s attention and was a huge victory for the rebels fighting against the regime of General Fulgencio Batista, there is not much reason to visit Santa Clara.  Most people simply go to visit the memorials and pay their respects. The Battle of Santa Clara is also what is proudly commemorated on the three dollar peso national bill. 

There is also a tobacco factory, but it was closed on the Sunday I was there. That of course, did not stop la dueña or the bicitaxi driver from telling me that it was surely open.  I suppose I should not have been surprised to find the doors locked upon my arrival.  The guide does tout the tobacco factory in Santa Clara as being better, cheaper and more thorough than the one in Havana, and I was sad to miss it.

Back at the casa, I intended to sleep off my hangover and catch up on my writing and reading.  But that did not happen. La dueña had told me earlier that day that they would be celebrating her son in law’s birthday later than evening on the rooftop terrace.  She invited me to come and celebrate. 

Soon after entering my room, there was a knock at my door. They invited me up, but first they needed to use my fridge to keep all of the beer they had.  I politely declined twice, not wanting to drink again and not thinking myself very good company. Upon the third request I acquiesced and joined the 15 people gathered on the terrace. 

I was given a shot of rum which I sneakily poured into the lemon TuKola I was drinking.  I didn’t stay long, but was able to wish the birthday boy a happy birthday and see what a birthday party looks like in Cuba, not unlike parties I see here. Good to know some things are always the same.


Traveling Tip # 17

At this point I guess I would suggest taking the busses. Perhaps you’ll have better luck than me, but I was getting very tired of getting the run around from all these car drivers, thinking I was getting a great deal and saving so much time, all to be lied to and lied to over and over. My Spanish is decent enough; it was not a problem with communication. It was simply them wanting to make a dollar no matter what and telling me what I want to hear. But you’re a traveler, you know these things happen. 

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