Laura in Santiago
We rode 40km´s like this to save $4
AM in Santiago
Lunch with our Cuban buddy´s
Cuba was awsome. Honestly just like stepping back in time, really nothing like it. Since we only had a bit over a week we decided to miss Havana and spend our time on the eastern side.We spent a day in Santiago de Cuba and the rest of the time in a small beach town called Baracoa - was good to get out of the city and we had such a good time in the bush and on the beach.
It would probably be boring to read about the differences between their socialist system and the western world - The people have a good standard of living and meet all basic needs, but i think (certainly the younger generation) all crave the freedom to travel and make their own decisions.
Cuba wasn´t all beer and skittles though. Customs gave me a very thorough search as we arrived and after finding my 2nd passport, boat papers and no clothes in my bag, a bit of medication in a ziplock bag was too much and they thought it was cocaine. For nearly 2 hours they sat me down and grilled me about the lozenges (losec for stomach acid) and about the boat and our trip - they also went hard questioning Paul and Laura and making sure our stories lined up. They did some sort of crap test tube test on the losec which made the stuff change colour, and despite the fact that the dogs weren´t remotely interested every customs person in the airport was. Was pretty hard out, sweating in the airport trying to understand all the Spanish. Eventually after a few forms and discussions they said they´d send it to a lab and let us go.
A week later when we went to leave i was hit up at imigration again. They separetly interigated the 3 of us and after 10minutes of more small talk a smiling Cuban customs woman asked ´where did you get the cocaine?´. They said that the lab test had come back with a +ve result, lying pricks. I´d be surprised if they even sent it out of the airport. Was all pretty intense and i really figured i´d be sorting it out from an embasy somewhere with Paul and Laura hopefully back in the DR. Eventually they gave up and figured we were telling the truth and let me on the plane, happy days. MUCHAS GRACIAS, ADIOS.
Was quite a trip but so happy to be back on the boat - next stop Puerto Rico, hopefully get a weather window this week as we really need to get moving and get the boat ready for the Atlantic.