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  • Day17

    Dodgy Havana

    August 22, 2017 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Yet another late start. We decided it would be a good plan to hire one of the American Classic Cars for an hour and take a whizz around Havana. We got Senor George and his 1952 automobile that was his grandfathers, then his fathers and now his. So we drove around for a while and stopped off to get a Pina Colada for breakfast from a hut near the old fort.

    It was hot again and by the time we had finished my shirt was soaking wet thanks to the plastic seat covers. We were dropped off at the local market and we wandered around looking at the same old stuff that everybody seemed to be selling.

    By now we were getting a bit peckish and Eva chose probably the worst restaurant possible. No air conditioning and the food was as if my good wife Fiona had cooked it. We left most of it and walked on to the Cafe de Orientale. Now this was a proper restaurant and up to the standard of some of the best restaurants in London. We bathed in the luxury of the cool air conditioning and had garlic prawns and some pasta. The thing with pasta is it does make you want to go to sleep, so we went back to the hotel and had a siesta.

    Come the evening we decided that dinner back at the Cafe de Orintale would be an ideal end to our time in Havana. Well, that was the plan but how wrong we were.

    We stopped en route at Floridida and listened to the band playing then headed off to the restaurant. On the way there we saw Hubert the trombonist from the band we saw on Sunday and said hello. We had named him Pineapple because his hair was in dreadlocks and tied up on top of his head. He was from Haiti so my French started too come in handy.

    'Eva they must be playing again at the place we went to on a Sunday. Shall we call in there first?'

    ...and indeed we did.

    When we arrived we were greeted with enthusiasm and lots of hands shaking from the waiters and the other members of the band. We must have made quite an impression on Sunday!

    So we chilled out here listening to great music, drinking pints of cool Mohitos and when it came time to go to dinner, we didn't. We just ordered lobster and shrimps and continued to enjoy ourselves. The atmosphere was marvellous and when one of the locals left the place he took Eva's hand and kissed it.

    When they finished their set for the evening Pineapple and Jacob (Eva's boyfriend) a superb guitar player, joined us along with one of the bands daughters who we named Londres, just because it was easier to remember as she wore a T shirt with London emblazoned across it.

    We bought them all drinks and the conversation went across all subjects in various languages of English, Spanish and French. When we were talking about the revolution they were looking around to see if anybody was listening as I don't believe free speech is yet a part of their remit. When Eva was explaining something to Jacob he couldn't understand as his English was limited so she had me ask Hubert (who didn't speak English) in French, who then translated it in Spanish to Jacob, who then responded to Eva in English...but it worked and the conversation flowed.

    'Eva stick close by to me as I think it is going start to go to another level and we are going to move on somewhere else'

    We left the relatively safe confines of Old Havana and headed into 'Dodgy Havana' where we had been walking on our first night. They took us to a small jazz club in some run down building. We sat down and enjoyed more music and excellent company. The guys then just got their guitar and trombone out and joined the band playing with them for 15 minutes. It was a night not to be forgotten and and 03:00 we left and they walked us back to safer confines near our hotel.
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