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  • Day15

    Gold Medal

    August 20, 2017 in Cuba ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    So what should we do in Havana? A nice American girl we met last night gave us a few tips on places to go and see, so we thought the first thing to do was to get a hop on, hop off bus, around Havana. We decided to hop on and not hop off during the tour around the city. I suppose one can sum up the city in a few words...run down buildings, American classic cars, Salsa bands, cocktails and a a fair bit of poverty.

    We were on the bus for a good 90 minutes then returned to where we had started. It looked like we might have to tick off some of the few words...so cocktails it was at the world famous Floridita. The establishment is famous for its daiquiris and for having been one of the favourite hangouts of Ernest Hemingway in Havana.

    Some history...In 1914, the Catalan immigrant Constantino Ribalaigua Vert started working in the bar as cantinero (bartender). Constantino, nicknamed Constante, became the owner in 1918. Constante is credited for inventing the frozen daiquiri in the early 1930s, a drink that became linked to the fame of the place, whose motto is now "la cuna del daiquiri" (the cradle of the daiquiri). The bar became a school of highly skilled cantineros (bartenders) specialised in cocktails prepared with fresh fruit juices and rum, whose traditions are still preserved by the disciples of Constante.

    It was packed but we found a seat and listened to the live music whilst sipping Daiquiri. The food looked a bit iffy so we left and went down Obispo Street which seemed fairly lively. Part of the way down was a kind of pop up restaurant in an old knocked down building enclave. I think it was called Ruin De Parques. Outside was a sign advertising lobster lunch for around £10 and a great band was playing. A few hours later after I dined on lobster and Eva on Chicken with quite a few Mohitos, we knew most of the people that were coming and going...the professional lady photographer from Argentina and her set of girl friends who asked if Eva was my girlfriend, the hippy American lady that had come to Havana for one week and hadn't left four weeks later and who now had a toy boy Cuban boyfriend who was the trombonist from the band, the German couple from Hamburg (he had proposed to her but she hadn't said yes), and of the course the band.

    They were brilliant!

    I got up and did my Gold medal Dad dance with Maracas or Maraques...not sure which...and they got a reluctant Eva up to join in with what looked like a stale baguette with ridges in the side that you slide a stick up and down. I even bought their CD...I hope it sounds as good as they did during that day.

    The weather was very hot and we were perspiring a lot so ice cold Mohitos seemed just the job.

    We arrived there at 14:00 and we left at around 22:00. It took us an hour to get back to the hotel and it should have taken 15 minutes! Goodness knows how we got lost.

    We decided that a quick night cap was in order after such a long walk and went to the hotel bar. The only people in it were 3 Australian couples...the banter soon began to flow and the event moved into the next day. After Trevor the Australian decided it was a good idea to get his manhood out on the bar, with much encouragement from Eva but less so from his wife, we decided it was time to go to bed.
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