Bon, Cathy, and I are off on our ‘secret’ adventure.Wiki Info Cuba
Havana - yesterday spent at La Finca as we had previously arranged over a month ago from home as part of our 'responsibility' as US citizens helping Cubans...we cannot just come here as tourists you know. It was an excellent day. Transport was $40 US paid in advance. It was via debit card to some specified account that the folks at the finca can still access since the US government has cut off all $$ transactions from most other countries dealing with Cuba. The driver picked us up at Casa Nova where we are staying at 7:30 am and about 45 minutes later we arrived. It was a very busy day for the owners, Annabelle and Alfredo (Wilson): 4 private groups (birthday party for 2 year old and 65 year old) plus lots - 8 to 10 - of kids.
The Finca was inherited from Wilson's father who bought it 20 years ago. His father is the product of a slave mom and British dad who traveled a lot as a mining engineer. Annabelle is Peruvian who attended chef school in Paris. Wilson is an IT guy, mainly works as a consultant trouble shooter (he's 48 years old) been in many African countries & middle east...Lebanon, Syria, Sierra Leon...he speaks Spanish, French, and English. The farm is his retirement since in Cuba he has no pension.
Today we exchange pesos for CUCs (Cathy suggested that we get MX pesos for US $$) for very little lost in commission. Then walking Havana Vieja until 1 pm when Bon & Cathy headed out. Cathy is buying gifts to take back and I walked back to the Main Plaza to write in this journal, waiting for their return and go on the Hop on Off bus the rest of the day.
At breakfast Nicolas (proprietor of Casa Nova) explained some of the ins and outs of travel and transport options in Cuba. We decided to have him arrange shared taxi to Vinales, leaving at 11 am tomorrow. Also, we booked O.N. at Casa Novo for the 11th - night before our flights out.
$$ Xchg CUCs:
3-3 $625 CUCs for 18400 MX pesos
Spent: $234 CUCS...Finca cost $25, Meals $40, Transport $35, Tips $15, Misc.-WiFi + $10