Thursday, October 14, 2010

Baracoa day 1

We just began our mini-vacation to Baracoa and Santiago de Cuba. The flight from Havana was a little bit perplexing at times. It was my first time on a plane with propellors. Just more noise and vibrations than usual. And it was pretty choppy until we got to high altitude.

Once we got to town and checked in to the hotel, we went to a great casa particular for lunch. (It's a restaurant operated out of someone's home, a relatively new option for cubans). The food was great. I had swordfish, and there was rice and veggies and this really wonderful coconut sauce. It kind of reminded me of thai food. Needless to say, a wonderful departure from normal Cuban food. Which, although delicious, is not very adventurous when it comes to spices. That's a polite way of saying it's bland. Actually, things are usually flavored with meat and are quite rich. But there's really no heat, no spice. Hot sauce has become my friend here, even though I never liked it before.

After the late lunch we headed to a museum and sat through a lecture on Baracoa, given by this historian who apparently has published things in the US. He was great. He took great pleasure in explaining the aphrodisiac qualities of cacao. "The Viagra of Colonialism".

And after the great food we had at lunch, the dinner at the hotel turned out to be a wonderful surprise. It was great, too. We're already eating so well on this trip. Good food equals happy kids. Back in the hotel room we enjoyed cable tv. It was one of the first time I've watched the news in English since being here. We watched CNN international edition based in Hong Kong. They mentioned the storm in Cuba. What storm? We left Havana just in time.

Beautiful view of the pool at our hotel:

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