Day 17, Baracoa,or: And then the ox came

“Bananas, Bananas! Hay Coco, Hay Coco! Pinas, Bananas, Naranjas, y hay Cocoooooo!’’
I opened my eyes. I was in Baracoa. And I could hear a loud and singing voice outside on the streets of a happy guy selling fruit. After a wonderful breakfast with little mini toast with cheese that tasted a bit like Feta cheese and two big cups of coffee (at the beginning I didn’t like Cuban coffee at all as it is really strong. But after a while, I started having numerous cups of coffee per day) I stepped on the streets of Baracoa. The streets were wet and dirty and there were little lakes in the holes of the pavement. It had rained the night before- Baracoa is the city with the highest precipitation. I had talked with backpackers before who had been to Baracoa but who had to leave after a couple of days as it would not stop raining. But now, Baracoa looked innocent again showing its beautiful face covered in sunshine. My plan for the day was to go to the Playa Maguana, according to Lonely Planet this was an isolated little beach which was THE secret spot for tourists apparently. I was a bit early and so I decided to talk to the young man who was selling handmade bracelets on the streets. He had dreadlocks and he was wearing long loose pants and a wild beard. He looked like a stereotypical hippie. The guy was absolutely sweet. It turned out that he was a world traveller from Argentina and that he had already been travelling through Asia, Europe and that he would go to Mexico next. When I asked him what his favourite spot has been so far, he immediately said ‘’Cuba. Because even though people don’t have anything here they still live.’’ I was amazed by this fascinating guy, he had a very calm and silent voice, he called me ‘’hermana’’ (sister) and he had totally stunning crystal blue eyes. Wow. I bought one of his handmade bracelets with the bandera (Cuban flag) on it for $35 MN ( a bit more than 1 euro). I continued my walk through the city, it was 9 in the morning and my bus would leave at 9.30. I observed a man who was wearing a spiderman costume and who was completely drunk. He approached me and asked me for a pen. Nope, sorry senor. He had no teeth and the smell was indescribable.

I made it to the beach- but it was not really a quiet secret spot. There were a couple of other tourists as well and already loads of people trying to sell stuff. Anyways, I was sipping on a Pina Colada, listening to the sound of the sephotoa and everything was fantastic. And then, of course, this GUY came. He tried to flirt with me and told me that he could teach me how to dance salsa. I told him that I wasn’t stupid and that I knew exactly what that means. He smiled and asked me if I wanted to ‘’have a good time with him’’ at his place as he seemed to live close by. I laughed and declined. Then he started to tell me his story that he was 34 years old, divorced, that he had a 12 year old son who lived with his mom in Holguin and that he was an alcoholic who had quit drinking 4 years ago. When he was done with his story, he tried to convince me to change my mind and ‘’have a nice time’’ with him. What the fuck was he thinking? He was a 34 year old guy (who looked like 50 by the way. It must be the sun…?) he had just told me about his sad life and now he thought that this would convince me to sleep with him and be his sugar mommy? Oh come on, grow up. Do they really think that tourists are that dumb? (but I mean apparently it works, otherwise they wouldn’t try… I will address the topic sex tourism in Cuba soon btw)

Anyways, I told him that I wanted to enjoy the beach in silence and then he finally left. After he was gone, and elderly couple came and they put their beach towel literally 10cm next to mine although almost the entire beach was empty. I could have sworn that those were Germans (Germans have the talent to behave like embarrassing assholes on their holidays- cliché I know, not every German, I mean I am German myself 😉 ) but no, they were Austrians !! (sorry, honey :P)

The rest of my beach day was really nice. I talked to a Cuban guy who spoke German fluently as he had lived in Chemnitz (back then Karl Marx Stadt) in East Germany. He complained about the bad economic system. As it had rained for the past 2 weeks, he didn’t make any money in his restaurant next to the beach.
While we were talking, an ox-cart passed by at the beach. Alright, wtf?
photo (2)

It was time to go back and the bus drove back to Baracoa. On our way back we saw numerous people on the streets carrying pigs. There were again two guys on bikes, holding a stick with a wrapped cloth were the ass of a pig could be seen.
Well, everybody was already preparing for tomorrow: Tomorrow was the big day, New Year’s Eve.

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