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  • Day48

    Cuba day 17 Vinales

    January 15, 2016 in Cuba ⋅ 🌬 24 °C

    This morning we changed casa. We loved staying with Misleidis and her family, but Luci worried about the mosquito bites, and besides the new place had great views. So we packed up and got a taxi to the new place. Mira meanwhiloe had gone off to meet the guy from yesterday who would take her horse riding.

    After dropping the bags at the new place we walked back down to Vinales, but we stopped at the entrance to the park where Luci met someone she knew, we asked about horse riding to the Valle de Palmeritos and a guy with a taxi said he could take us to Vinales and arrange horses and guide. It was a little muddy getting to the horses, but once we were on them and on our way the track became a sea of fango, sometimes so deep our feet were just above the mud. Aleisha's horse seemed intent on going slowly, but she was in front and at one stage a bush knocked the sunglasses off her head and into the mud. Amaxingly the guide found them. A bit later there was a drier patch and lots of people milling around for a cock fight. We continued, in part when I had gone yesterday, but there was still 'mucho fango'. And then there were a few drops of rain and then the sound of distant thunder. We decided to abandon the trip and turned around. We stopped at a restaurant for a snack, and then the rain started to pour down. Just as well we hadn't continued. Our shoes were now totally mud covered and our legs and even shirts mud splattered. We cleaned up a little in a muddy pool then took a taxi to the casa. The disadvantage of being on an out-of-town hill was that you had to take a taxi every time you wanted to move.

    The taxi was an old Fiat from the 1950s, passed from father to son through 3 generations, still with the original motor and gearbox but with much else changed; it smelt of exhaust so we kept the windows open, besides no aircon and it was hot. The driver worked full time at the water supply plant, but his week was 2 days each of 24 hours earning CUP950 (CUC38) per month, so on his days off he drives the taxi.

    We cleaned up at the casa, I had no other shoes so chose thick socks and wrung them out a couple of times as we listened to music that Luci thought was amazing. When the band had almost finished we went to eat at a Mediteranean restaurant. Several times during the day we had tried to find Mira, and several times she had tried to find us. Then she suddenly appeared, she was in a taxi on the way to Nenitas hoping we might be there when she noticed us at an outside table.

    Mira told us she had had a great day, horse-riding through the fango, then visiting a swimming hole at the end of a 50m cave, then eating recently-slaughtered kid and pork with her friend's family. It had been a memorable day for her.

    Mira stayed in town to dance further when we returned to the casa to get ready to leave in the morning. Mira got back about 1:30 but was up most of the night with an upset tummy.
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