Slept well and woke to the 6AM alarm. Showered,
dressed and met the rest of our Globus group in the hotel’s fifth
floor dining room for a delicious breakfast of fresh papaya, several
varieties of juices, pancakes, French toast, hard-boiled eggs,
croissants and coffee.
Hermes, our terrific Havanatur driver
Our incredible Globus guide Bob Young, a walking encyclopedia of
Boarded the Havanatur bus at 8:10AM and drove a
short distance to the world-famous, prestigious Ballet De Camaguey,
on the magnificent estate of pre-revolution land owners who fled in
Spent about an hour
observing ballet practice by young students from around the world.Toured the costume department, snapped
several photos and re-boarded our bus.
After a pleasant hour-long ride southeast of
Camaguey, during which Ramiro answered a multitude of questions (“Es
complicado” – “it’s complicated,”) we found ourselves at a vast
cattle ranch called King Ranch.
Our welcoming committee at King Ranch
Ramiro, our terrific Cuban guide, with the manager of King Ranch
We toured the small
village there near the ranch headquarters and visited an elementary
school and a typical wooden house with a thatched roof made of palm
fronds.We relaxed in the shade of many various
fruit trees – banana, papaya, mango, turmeric, coconut, almond and
cashew.Saw pineapples growing.Today is warm and humid, so the shade
was most welcome as we sampled freshly cut mango, papaya and
pineapple with the refreshing milk of the overhead coconuts.
Jan with bananas
After our rest and savory
refreshments, Carol and I stayed on a veranda while the rest of our
group attended a rodeo – not our thing.We met and visited with Eleanor Bellini,
a fascinating, multi-lingual tour guide from Italy.We compared travel notes for a pleasant
hour until the rodeo ended and we rejoined our gang for a tasty
lunch of fish, rice, beans, yucca, vegetables and bread while
musicians serenaded us with traditional Cuban songs.
Schmoozing with charming Eleanor Bellini from Italy at King Ranch
Dancing at King Ranch
While at King Ranch, Phil demonstrated his impressive horsemanship.
Click above to be impressed with Phil's horsemanship!
All too soon it was time
to leave the ranch so we bid adios to our hosts and boarded the
Havanatur bus for the hour-long ride back into Camaguey.On the way we stopped at a well-known
pottery studio.We spent a pleasant hour there as the
us on the magic of pottery making. Their great skill and experience
was impressive but the highlight was when Jan and Oscar volunteered
to try their hand at the wheel.Both surprised us with their
Jan, the proud potter
Oscar takes a turn at the wheel
Back on the bus at 3PM for
the short ride across Camaguey to the Gran Hotel for showers and
rest.One interesting thing that I noticed is
that there are no jet contrails in the sky.Back home, at any time of the day, you
can look up at the sky and see evidence at least a couple of
aircraft have left their mark.Not in Cuba.Another thing that got our attention is
the number of wild/feral dogs we see in the cities as well as the
countryside.And they all seem to be friendly.
At 6:30PM we assembled in
front of the hotel and walked en-masse to a nearby restaurant for
another delicious meal of shrimp, rice, fried fish, fruits,
vegetables, bread, potatoes and carrots.I am still on antibiotics, so I sipped a
soda while the rest of the gang enjoyed mojitos, local beers and
wines.A trio of very excellent musicians
entertained us.At one point a fellow stuck his head
through the restaurant window and showed me a charcoal caricature of
me that he had drawn.I liked it a lot so Bob, ever so
accommodating, negotiated the price down to three CUCs.
Jan and Ken ready to roll
Lindsay, Marney, Miriam and Oscar ridin' in style
Sated, we walked around
the corner where six or seven magnificent, beautifully maintained
classic American Fords and Chevys awaited us.We piled in to the various beauties and
were driven back to the Gran Hotel in Cuban style amidst the envious
, approving and proud crowds of Camagueyans.
Packed for tomorrow’s jaunt to Trinidad and fell
asleep at 10:30PM, totally exhausted.