By Sunday I was ready to get out of La Habana. I had been there for two weeks and the city was starting to get to me. I hadn’t found anyone else to travel with so I decided to just head to Trinidad solo the following day.
Wanting one more beach day, I called up my friend Enzo seeing if he’d accompany me. I had wanted to check out a beach called Mar Azul which, is supposed to be amazing but Enzo, had recommend against it. He said it was super touristy and expensive. Instead we took a taxi colectivo(a shared taxi) to Guanabo. I’m not sure how easy it would be for tourists to ride in a taxi colectivo without a local accompanying you but you catch them by the train station. They will take you all the way to the beach, which is about a 40 minute ride for only $2 CUC per person.
We piled 8 people into an old 1950s car blasting reggatone. When we arrived at the beach we got lunch from a cafeteria. The food was amazing and a ridiculous amount for only $60 CUP about $3 CUC.
The beach was beautiful and tranquil. Full of Cuban families relaxing with bottles of rum. There was a man selling Cuban tamales on the beach and Enzo wanted me to try one. I was not too impressed. They are much heavier and sweeter than Mexican tamales with little to no filling.
Unable to find a shared taxi back to La Habana we had to ride the bus. It wasn’t terrible but standing for about an hour jam packed in isn’t always the greatest experience. But for about .05 cents for two people sometimes it’s worth it.
When we arrived back to the city Enzo invited me over for dinner. He said his mom had invited a friend she met from Chicago and another friend Enzo had met from Denmark. I was so excited to finally be able to speak English! It had been at least three days since I had spoken English with anyone.
To enter Enzo’s home you go through a big metal door off the street, then down a narrow hallway lined with other homes. Enzo likes to call his “apartment complex”, for lack of a better word, Colombia because of the narrow hallways. Enzo’s mother Itama was blasting reggatone, smoking, dancing and drinking beer. When we arrived I was greeted by Samuel from Chicago and Lucas from Denmark. Itama had made chicken, rice and black beans. The food was amazing!
Enzo’s younger three year old sister latched on to me and wouldn’t get off my lap. She wanted to see all the photos in my phone and continued to spoon some of my food into her mouth my knife while I ate.
After dinner Enzo’s family wanted to give us dance lessons. Enzo’s sister, though only three years old, is the most amazing dancer. I have never seen a three year old twerk before. I wasn’t sure how to feel about it but Samuel said in their culture it isn’t seen as sexual as Americans view it. It’s just how they dance.
Samuel and Lucas invited me to join them the next day walking around La Habana so I decided to extend my stay one more night. Am I ever leaving La Habana?!