Happy New Year! When these lines appear, the train is leaving for Havana. Like last year, we cannot take part in a big New Year's party, but are on the way.
The situation with the Internet has not yet changed, but there is always a solution to a problem in Cuba. That's why I can write a few more lines today, I've found a real computer that is connected to the Internet. You ask your way through, you help yourself. The people here are great and helpful.
We visited El Cobre with Eddi in his little yellow taxi. The traffic in Cuba is fascinating. On the one hand, Eddi curves us around potholes where you could park an elephant, on the other hand everything is friendly, you help each other around the potholes. The landscape is a dream. Everything is green, no comparison to the desert in Aruba. The view to the left and right of the road is a view of the jungle. In addition to the fully occupied buses and a few taxis, there are many horse-drawn carriages and donkey carts on the street.
The animal-drawn vehicles have their advantages, they simply fill up with the grass that grows on the roadside. There are long lines in front of the petrol stations for the cars. Trucks waited half a kilometer for their diesel at a gas station. That is Cuba too. There isn't much and for what there is you have to stand in line and wait for hours.
El Cobre, unfortunately I can't link it, is probably the holiest of all churches in Cuba. Several kilometers beforehand, vendors on the roadside are offering sunflower wreaths and candles that can be set up in the church. The closer we get to the church, the more stalls there are. Eddi stops at a point where we have a great view of the scenery.
Right at the church we first have to exchange fists to greet Eddi's friend, the new Covid greeting instead of a handshake. We still leave the religious knick-knacks on the shelf, no matter how nice the seller is. Instead, we turn our steps to the cathedral, where both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict (Papa Ratzi) have already read mass. It is impressive. Unfortunately, I still can't offer any photos. The fact that we can use the computer with internet access is a sensation. That's Cuba. With their internet connection, people only have 40 hours of internet a month, but they share that without compensation.
After we have left the church, Eddi drives us back. We drive through the alleys of Santiago to find the fruit of Zapote somewhere. We recently got two of them that taste great. They only exist in the Caribbean and only on islands with high mountains, such as Cuba or Jamaica or something. According to hearsay, they are not exported to Europe, are sweet, have a peculiar texture and taste that Jens and I have never known before. Great. Unfortunately we can't find the delicious fruits. Eddi promises us that if he finds any, he will get us some. It doesn't seem that easy.
We will continue to book him as our “personal” taxi driver, he never disappointed us. Photo stops, shopping, and the broken English clues about the sights make it what it is. Plus his taxi works, that's not the rule here.
It may be that there will be radio silence again in the next few days, I have no idea how things are with the Internet and the access options in Havana. We don't want to carry too much luggage with us, the computers stay in Santiago.