Friday, June 13, 2008

Australia, DeCameron and Mikey

Another day of driving, heading along the coast initially and then finding autovisto with limited trouble this time, we made a detour with the idea of having lunch at a town called Central Australia...but found nothing but the opportunity for a couple of silly photos with the town sign.

Despite being on the autovisto, we arrived into Havana over on the east side, which was where we were planning to go once we got back. We stopped at the Castillo de la Real Fuerza and walked through the old fort, and up the lighthouse, after a funny visit with the lads in the harbour control tower - they told us that they don't get to use the Aussie flag much to greet ships coming into Havana port! A great view of Havana, old and new and developing, from this side.

Sadly, in a moment too focused on icecream, I lost my camera and all my shots for the trip thus far here at the was hot, and we needed icecream!! El stupito!

Getting back to Home Sweet Norma, we had a nap, and then scoured our three different guide books for somewhere for dinner...somewhere we felt like eating. We had been warned that you don't go to Cuba for the food! A place listing all the delights we had been dreaming of, and sounding way too good to be true was read out, and then trek to Vedado was made for this mirage-sounding place to eat.

Driving into the area of the listed restaurant, and then past the street, our hopes started to fade. A loop back had a food sign spotto-ed and then the name DeCameron was read....could it be! We parked and walked to the nondescript door, from which a head poked out of the window within the door, and confirmed we were in the right place. Decked out in music deco, Jessie commented 'there is even salt and pepper on the table'! Needless to say, we enjoyed this meal very much!

The next day we returned the car, and then made a cigar purchase after many offers. In no other country I have I ever been taken into so many people's living rooms, which was on offer whenever you answered someone who approached selling cladistine cigars. Very funny exchanges and language interpretations, these visits were, and a little glimps into the locals real lives.

We visited El Capitolio, and it's large dome hovering over the diamond of measurement for Cuba, and also the congress like rooms (modeled on Washington DC). Following this, we walked down park like Pasoe Dr Marti, to enter the Museo de la Revolucion. Here a seemingly endless array of photos, documents, and random clothing articles take you through milestones and propaganda relating to the revolution and coming to power of Fidel Castro.

Having rested out an hour long downpour on the steps of Museo de la Revolucion, we commenced a pub crawl along O'Reilly, starting with mojitos and pina colados, and cigar, at a local but touristy place, with the band playing. Moving on from there a young lad was touting in front of the next empty, very local bar, and we entered heading for our next drink. This stopped ended up being our night of Cuba, with mingling with the locals, signing the wall, dancing, and super strong mojitos. Mikey, our host, was a very liberal dispenser of the rum he had behind his bar, and also played DJ by running across the street to turn the bar's music system up. Before long Heath was getting bar tending lessons, and we were all feeling our local mojitos.

Stumbling out of Mikey's in all sorts, we eventually found Dominica for a meal along the same street, to mark the last night of Cuba for the 4 of us.

Having one last day in Havana by myself, I took in much of the streetscapes again and wandered about. I found the old lady Lynn recommended I track down for a photo, and took things easy for the day before another day of flying.

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