This is Cuba!
Chris and Penny Manley
Mon 25 Apr 2016 14:43
Saturday 23rd April
As we had no Cuban currency, Yani in the office suggested we go to a local hotel as that would be quicker than queuing in a bank. We had a few hundred euros to change into CUC$. We could change US$ but the exchange bureaux charge about 10% commission on US currency. The office arranged a taxi to take us first to the hotel, then the local farmers market and then lunch in Santa Lucia, a small local town.
Victor, our driver arrived in his lime green supped-up Lada, with in-seat music/DVD entertainment. Victor doesn’t speak English but Barry, Ian’s crew speaks Spanish so he acted as translator. The trip to the hotel was interesting. This part of Cuba is vey rural with horses, oxen, pigs tethered along the road side. The majority of vehicles are horse drawn with relatively few cars. The ones we did see were a mixture of Ladas, Chevrolets, Plymouths, Buicks and old Fords, as well as Russian trucks and Moskvitch cars. However there was one ancient Land Rover. All the cars are old but we saw one relatively new Audi.
No problem changing our Euros, so we can now buy lunch etc. And then off to the Farmers Market, which is a regular feature in Santa Lucia every Saturday. The market is held in a field, and as it had rained heavily the previous evening, with so many horses the ground had been churned up. We picked our way amongst the stalls trying to find the most solid bits of ground. The stalls were mainly selling vegetables, pimentos, and garlic, and one stall selling meat. We didn’t buy anything.
After this we went into Santa Lucia itself to look around, but Victor said there was nothing to see, so he took us to a local restaurant, el Bambu, where we had a very good meal and a few beers, before returning to the marina.