They say at the end of every rainbow there is a pot of gold. Well this week in cuba I found the rainbow and the gold!
In many respects, and while we were unable to fully paint the town as it was already painted we made our mark on Cuba.
My biggest worry for the holiday not being able to dance cuban style as my zumba classes in Orkney had not really got me into the full swing of things so to speak.......... This was ridiculous as we ended up in Club Marrocon on Saturday night in a dance off!!! As Russell and I stood looking over Havana the only english people who found a local club beside the lighthouse shining at Habanas shores we both had a good smile and knew that being there was good for our souls.
I didn’t really understand the concept of capitalism nor to I feel I understand it now, however in even just a week I was introduced to the philosophy of it and starting thinking about different way to live ones life. While it was frustrating not being able to read the papers because they do not exist as there is no propaganda, or to read my emails as there is no internet, I actually did wandered how I would feel if that was me.
Doctors and teachers make the same as each other in a capitalistic society and I suddenly wandered which I would prefer to be and if money was not an issue which I would enjoy. Rationally I would in our society have chosen medicine however if I look in my soul I would have loved to teach.
Following 3 days in The National 5 star hotel we decided slumbing it was the way forward but had absolutely no idea where to look or where to go! While walking the streets of Habana full of colour and vibrance I stumbled across an incredible restaurant minutes before wandering where to go for lunch. The place was amazing authenticity at its best and while I was slightly bereft to understand that it was actually 3 months old the furniture and pictures were from the 30s and 50s and ozzed regal style. While commenting to the chief on the wonderful food we asked where was good to stay in Trinidad; Knowing this was not too close and not too far and that 3 days adventuring there would satisfy our appetite for travel and exploring! Immediately the matrade and owner where making phone calls to their friends. Within minutes the following 4 days adventure and residence in peoples homes was organised...... We laughed thinking imagine in London asking somewhere to stay in Brighton and the owner of the restaurant calling their friends and technically organising our holiday!
At 8 the following morning we traversed through the Carribean countryside to Sancti Spiritus to a beautiful house where we would spend the next 3 days exploring Trinidad.
We spent the first 12 hours with some locals we met on the beach peninsular de Ancon where they invited us to join them for dinner and to say we laughed is an understatement! To be honest as well actually drinking my body weight while increasing it with Rum....... To make matters worse to sober one up they drink sugar water which is just the cardinal sin of drinking it tops kabab any day! Back in the game though we made it home in our 1950s cadillac and I slept while the Doc partyed!
The following day we decided to go into the mountains..... A 3km downward trek and we arrived at what they described in the guide as: “Drive to El Cubano natural park in sight of the Escambray chain of mounatins. Following what is known as “On the footprints of history” leading to the Javira waterfall surrounded by endemic flora and fauna take a swim in the mineral spring.” Well we scaled the mountains got to the bottom and skinny dipped in the waterfall once again I felt alive and content with the world and all its beauty! While swimming in the mountain cascade I wandered do I live in the present or in the future. A canadian I met said if you have one foot in the past and one in the future you are pissing on the present...... So I decided to get pissed on and swam under the waterfall into the middle with all my might and smiled and laughed out loud naked feeling amazing!
There are always many stories but blog writing, setting up a business and doing my finals are pulling me from writing them all down so to cut a very long, many ridiculous and happy stories later I arrived in London......
I had the funniest moment when on the tube I lumbered my bag on the train at Victoria squeezed into the carriage wandering why the hell I hadn’t just stayed in Cuba, well actually just wishing I was there still..... I looked up and saw a young guy reading The Alchemist I couldn’t believe my eyes. We started to speak and ended up with 30 minutes before my final leg of the journey home and as irony cosmosis or chance would have it he is in the same field as me working in ports and harbours and looking to get more into the marine energy sector; So I smiled took his card and understood maybe just maybe he was and omen to continue to move forward in this direction.
Home is where the heart is, and you can travel the world and immerse yourelves in many different cultures and places but to find you true North is very hard.
I got home tonight my little brothers cooked amazing spaghetti bolognaise we drank some red wine sitting around the dinning room table listening to music and singing; I realised for the first time that this is where I belong and I can bring all the influences from my travels including some rum and music and stories but the place where I wanted to be at that very moment was home.
My other true north is my impending finals, and I cant say revision week has stated as I intend to go on drinking rum on white beeches in Trinidad so over and out until the 28th when finals will be over and......... Dissertation will begin...... perhaps with another little adventure in between.