I was really only halfway interested in going to the beach. The guy at the hostel gave me a few tips the night before, but he was so mellow I had a hard time believing him. On my way to get sun tan lotion and breakfast I saw an abused tourism office. I figured they could give me decent directions.
One desk with a decorative secretary and two cops waited inside. Between the four of them no English was spoken, but luckily my pig-Spanish was good enough. I told them I wanted the bus to Playa Juan Dolio. The cop told me to get a cab to the bus stop. I wanted to walk. I guess he felt sorry for me and gave me a ride.
Flying through the city on a dirt bike brought back memories of India and the perilous balance of holding on tight enough to survive but not so tight as to sacrifice my dignity. I tried to keep a mental map of where we were going so I could get back, but by the time I got to the bus I felt about thousand miles away. So… I went to the beach. There were dozens of things that could have gone wrong, but it went perfectly.
How about that.
When I made it back to La Zona Colonial I discovered that some buildings here were built with tabby (a type of concrete made using oyster shells). I had seen numerous stuccoed buildings here with patches of bricks showing through in odd spots, and wasn’t quite sure what was going on. Now I know.
They only used brick in structurally critical spots. There is a small chapel in South Carolina built this way, but I never guessed it would be strong enough to build towering churches with domes and barrel vaulted ceilings. I saw this at the ruinous Hospital Nicholas de Bari. (I’ll attach a picture). A perfect Low Country connection.
In any case, I am moving down the line tomorrow. Cuba isn’t famous for its internet connectivity, so expect radio silence from me until the 10th. Hopefully I’ll have a good time and learn a few things. If I don’t, I hope that I’ll at least have some good stories!
See you on the other side.