December 14 – December 20, 2018
Day 66 -Day 72
After my brother left, I continue my trip more to the east to discover this isolated part of the country.
The departure of my brother is quite hard for me. After this Wonderfull two weeks together I was used to him and we were enjoying a lot to be together. But that’s life, and I have to pursue my journey without him.
Also, without my brother means without his phone. I bought a camera 3 days after leaving. But before that, no phone means no camera.
I am going to Santiago de Cuba with Moritz, a German guy I met in Trinidad. With the advice of a hitchhiker I met, I now know how hitchhiking works in Cuba. Now that I know, we decided to try it with Moritz.
Hitchhiking is here indeed very different from everywhere I have been before. You don’t really know where hitchhiking begins and where public transport stops. You just stand there on the side of the road, hand a bill at the road and take the first thing that stops: truck, car, bus, …
The sad thing about the fact that hitchhiking is not free, is that it now became less “true”. Most people just get in the car, give the money to the driver and that’s all. No exchange. No talking. Again, that is sad for the way I usually like to travel.
We still succeed to go to Santiago by going through Sancti Spiritus and Ciego de Avila. We enjoy some meal in these city, discover a bit, discover what is really hitchhiking (which I don’t like – quite paradox for somebody who is hitchhiking the world)
After these two weeks in Cuba, I think I came with the conclusion that Cuba is really nice to discover with many friends and other travelers. But when you are alone, it became different. The tourism “killed” the authenticity of the country, because of the people who are trying to trick tourists. I don’t thank you guys. Because of you, the other nice cuban people cannot be there for us.
Once in Santiago, Moritz and I split. He is going to another city while I am going to the marina to find a boat to somewhere else. Unfortunately for me, the story repeat. Only one boat in the marina. I am trying to think that getting a boat out of here is either impossible, or either I will have to spend 2 months more in Cuba (which I am beginning to get pissed of).
Even if Santiago is a nice city, the people are worst against tourists. Everybody is always trying to talk to you all the time, trying to be nice so that at the end they ask for something.
This makes me really sad and really pissed of. I am traveling to meet locals. What good can I do if every time locals try to speak to you, they are expecting something else than just being nice ? If there are always trying to trick you so you pay more than the normal price ? I understand they are poor, nut at the end, you just lose trust in anybody who is talking to you. That’s not what I want.
Hopefully, here in Cuba I would say the most important is not to be alone. Find other traveler and be with them (that’s also why being alone is hard for me at this time). I meet again with Alejandro, a Argentinian guy I met with Jean in La Habana and again in Trinidad. Hopefully he is here!
In between, I try a short excursion to the Pic Turquino, the highest mountain in Cuba (around 2000 meters). I go there again by truck, a nice experience also. The landscape is really natural and I am so excited about going up to the pic. I also have the chance to do a new kind of hitchhiking: I hitchhiked a horse!
I sleep on the beach near the bottom of the hiking to be ready for me next day. But it is not going to work how I want.
To go all the way up of the mountain, you have to pay an entrance AND to get a guide, which is really expensive. Furthermore, I wanted to climb on one side and go down on the other side. I would have to get another guide, book a night in the refuge and to pay even more (something like 60 euros for two days hiking).
I refused categorically. I don’t pay that much just to hike. Anyway, this made me done with Cuba. from now, I was enjoying the country quite ok. But this was too much. I decided to leave the country by any way.
As I already said, to get out, the boat is not possible. On three different marinas, there was 3 boats. It is not gonna help me.
The only solution I found which was not too expensive was to take a plane to Haïti. Since I can still take planes before I join Martinique, I decided to take this. I am not enjoying Cuba anymore, so if I really need to leave, then I am doing it.
I spend the two last day in Santiago, chilling in the city, using internet to contact the family, resting, … I can then go in peace to the airport.
Good bye Cuba, it has been a pleasure to discover you. You were full of surprise and disappointment. Full of discovery and encountering.
Now is time to go to a very different world: Haïti.