23.11.2015 - 25.11.2015
Up next was our 12 hour bus ride to Santiago de Cuba, the second biggest city in Cuba. Buses in Cuba and Central America have this nifty trick of reclining all the way back to the person behinds lap. This is nifty only if you are not the person behind! During this 12 hour bus ride I had the fun of warring with two groups of people in order to keep my minimal leg space all to myself. If you are short, travelling Cuba is easy, if you are tall, be prepared for a lot of bruised knees.
Aside from the battle of the bus seats, Cat read an entire book and I nearly got left behind at a random bus stop on a toilet break.
It was a relief to arrive to our Casa in Santiago and made even better when we find our casa owner is a beautiful Cuban man with a tendency to walk around shirtless.
Wandering around the pretty streets of Santiago we realise we are definitely back in a major city, the giveaway? The level of harassment by every male we come in the vicinity of. Don't read this as a cocky statement, if you are female with legs and a heart beat, they are all over you like white on rice! We managed to meet a few nice ones who genuinely wanted to chat with a tourist; it is still illegal for Cubans to talk to tourists in public, only now, the police have filled up the prisons, they realise they need to focus on more serious crimes, so Cubans take every chance to chat to you. Sometimes they want to help you out, sometimes they just want to practise their English with you.
While in Santiago we realised it is quite acceptable to take your own beer into a bar, so this we did after having dinner at a mainly locals restaurant (lots of funny looks) and home brew made to look legit.
Our second night in Santiago we explored the town with two locals we had met in the park, these gentlemen gave us the lowdown on the locals, where was good to hang out and one even giving me his bandana to dry my hands on. And who said chivalry is dead?
To be honest, we didn't see a whole lot of Santiago, but it was good to wander the waterfront and have a relatively free day. If I ever get back to Cuba, this is one place I would love to explore some more as it really is a beautiful city that needs a few days to tap into.