Cuba Journals

City of Cats

Since we arrived I had noticed so many stray cats and dogs,wondering around the city.

Once they had home , now the city has become their habitat. Exploring the the streets and roof tops. It was another hot day and we were up early.

Last night another local man took us to a bar and proceeded to have a drink with us without paying of course. It’s hard to avoid these people but there still trying to get by.

We made our way to Havana central to find breakfast. A tall dark woman followed us down the street. She invited us to a salsa class. As much as I wanted to dance, the thought of food had taken over my brain.

We found a nice cafe , in the centre of Havana. A band started to play as we ate breakfast in the sun. There were people on stilts performing with the band. It’s morning and the music has already begun. The band wore colorful costumes, they began to move around like a marching band full of energy. I felt like following them.

The sky was clear we could already feel the heat, soaking into our skin.

After breakfast we took a walk down the malecon. We found an old train station, which had been converted into an indoor market. My body had started to adjust to the heat.

We stood out like a sore thumb when we entered the indoor market. I could smell leather and Cuban cigars. Everybody tried to grab our attention, like we were the only customers there. So many stalls with different souvenirs, from clothing to handcrafted ornaments.

Our attention was drawn to a coconut stand, for five Cucs we bought a coconut filled with rum and continued walking around the market.

Havana club

Adding to our rum intake, we ended up at the Havana club rum museum. The tour didn’t start for an hour and there happened to be a bar next door. There was a band playing as we sat drinking mojitos.

The band were all dressed in white. One of the members looked out of place. Playing to a drunk crowd. Another member wore a white hat, he looked older than the rest of the band. He was tanned with thin white hair and brown beady eyes. He had to be the leader. The other members of the band were slightly younger apart from the bongo player.

The main singer could of been a part time pirate. He looked very charming and had the most energy. It was a sunshine environment, everyone happy drinking rum. I myself had consumed a lot of rum within the last 24 hours.

We discussed which member of the band would be murdered hypothetically. I thought maybe the leader, but we agreed on the singer. Death by maracas perhaps.

Three mojitos and two pina coladas later we started the tour. It was a short tour which ended with rum tasting.

In. two days we had explored many sites of Havana. Trying to embrace is people and it’s culture and understand the history.

One of the joys of traveling, is meeting other travelers. Sharing stories with other people.

We met a couple from New York. They were both jazz musicians. The male was from Columbia, so he had the advantage of speaking Spanish. They also traveling around Cuba. We were sat at bar with a balcony view, it was a quite place.

When I looked out I could see many cats exploring the roofs of the city.

Most of the cats and dogs were in poor health. Wearing scars and they followed people down the streets. No owners the city was now their home.

D.Mooken