In the morning we order a taxi from Norbert, the harbor master. He should get us a taxi with which we can visit the Gran Piedra. Eddi arrives at the marina almost on time in his taxi. Norbert hands us over to the taxi driver, who speaks a few words in English, a few words in French, a few words in German and also in Russian. It is enough for the conversation. On the road we pass many monuments. It feels like there are at least one or two monuments to every Cuban revolutionary.
The selfie is created during a short photo stop. The small, yellow car holds up bravely on the steep road towards the summit. On the way we see the other Germans in their taxi, which is parked on the side of the road with the hood open and which probably lacks cooling water. I ask Eddi for a stopover, but he refuses. The road has an easy slope of over 20%, somehow I can understand that he wants to keep his car going.
But we only have to wait a quarter of an hour, then we are all together at the foot of the stairs that lead the last few meters to the summit. Allegedly there are 400 steps, I didn't count it, my bruised knee confirms the size. Every single step is worth it.
On the way the landscape changes, suddenly we are walking through vegetation that could also exist in Germany in the forest. Ferns and deciduous trees shape the landscape.
One tree stands out in particular, here the bees are humming and humming wildly. I'm trying to capture that with the camera. Unfortunately the sound is a bit quiet.
Gran Piedra means "the big rock" and it is. When we climb the last flight of stairs, we are already a little chipped.
My knee is looking forward to the descent. In the meantime we are shooting wildly with the camera. Unfortunately we can only guess the sea on the horizon, it is too hazy.
But the view of the hinterland is breathtaking. Shame it is so difficult to get there. There are no designated hiking trails and no infrastructure for hikers. One would have to walk down the streets.
A vulture circled above us for a few minutes in search of its lunch. Jens manages a wonderful shot at the bird.
Of course we'll take another stupid selfie. Our family in Germany will be happy about that. What is the weather like in Germany? Up here we can't complain at all, the temperatures are very pleasant at high altitudes.
We're hungry when we're back down with the vehicles. That's why we ask our drivers to drive us to a restaurant. First, there is a discussion among the drivers about which of the restaurants to go to. Driving downhill, I ask Eddi to stop for a photo at the next donkey. This stop takes place at the point where the taxi of the other German group refilled cooling water on the way there. Here drinking water is filled into canisters at the source, the donkey patiently waits for its load.
The restaurant preferred by Eddi is closed today, we are waiting in front of the door. Eddi makes everything clear for us, a few minutes later we can sit down at the table. It is worth opening the restaurant for a group of seven people. While waiting, I can record this street scene.
The further you get from Santiago, the greater the density of horse and donkey carts. There are also a lot of pedestrians on the streets. The size of the potholes that Eddi has to avoid also increases with the distance from Santiago. While we are sitting in the restaurant, the drivers wait outside by their vehicles.
There is fish in the restaurant. It was available in all private restaurants that we have tried in Cuba so far. Of course, you can pull the fish out of the sea for little money. There are only a few cattle that are needed for milk production. Our German companion, whose funny name is also Eddi, explains the draconian punishments for the locals in Cuba. If a farmer slaughters his own cattle (public property), he is jailed for 25 years.
While we wait for the meal, our salad is freshly harvested in our own garden. We think that's great, but the Cubans might prefer to go shopping in the supermarket rather than cultivating them themselves. Maybe not, that's just speculation on my part.
After dinner it is dark. Eddi drives us carefully through the darkness, driving around donkey carts, bicycles and pedestrians, all of which are unlit on the street, without neglecting the dance around the potholes. I'll get his phone number, we'll go on the next trip with him again.