Day 3: 22/10. Baracoa, Relax Day.
When we woke up it was around 10 already and our tent had converted into a boiling glass house under the sun rays. Only now we could see what very little attractive part of the beach we had chosen yesterday night but for looking for a nice spot there simply had not been any energies left. After a quick bath in the sea with shower gel and toothbrush we sat down in the sand to have breakfast and found ourselves with Carlos, our lifeguard from yesterday night who brought us coffee and a delicious dish of sea snails with rice his wife had made. What a charming gesture! We spent a good deal of time with some fishermen who passed the beach and some craftsmen from which I bought two hands full of necklaces, bracelets and other small handicraft and then broke the tent down to go for a little stroll through the city. Our heavy luggage we could leave at Carlo’s home who also invited us to have supper at his house where we then learned to know his charming family. We were told we could always use their home and kitchen if we needed anything or wanted to cook something we have bought.
Baracoa itself is a charming city. When Cristopher Columbus first landed in Cuba it was in Baracoa. Wikipedia told me that “he wrote in his logbook … the most beautiful place in the world …I heard the birds sing that they will never ever leave this place…. According to legend, Columbus put a cross called Cruz de la Parra in the sands of what would later become Baracoa harbor”.
Hardly any cars in those narrow little streets, colorful painted colonial houses everywhere and surprisingly little tourists. While latter might have to do with the fact that we’re traveling off-season (lucky us!) we still didn’t have the impression that Baracoa could be a touristy place at any time of the year. Very little hotels and a very well preserved small-village charme make Baracoa definitely worth a visit! You can still see the damage that the 2008 hurricane Paloma has left though! After looking for a cheap bike rental place for tomorrow’s excursion to Mount Yunke we have a cold beer at the seaside and return to our beach.
After supper at Carlos’s hut we put up the tent at the same spot in the beach and fell asleep during a light rainstorm.