May Day in Cuba

My Airbnb room is on the Cienfuegos Malecon (sea drive) and I wake up on May 1st with the noise of a crowd outside. What is going on? Well, its May Day, also known as Workers Day and people are gathering very early in the morning to get in good position for the massive parade. Cubans get about $20 a month in wages, a pretty meager allocation of basic food items and most live in crumbling (literally crumbling) government provided housing, so do they show up to celebrate working for the regime?  I can tell you they certainly do.

We wander around in the crowd and everyone is very friendly, then we get a cab and drive to Trinidad, an old cobblestoned village up the road. Very picturesque, down to the old man with a cigar that offers a photo for one Cuban tourist dollar, the CUC (which is pegged to one US dollar). I think he does well.

Cuban countryside

We wander around in the crowd and everyone is very friendly, then we get a cab and drive to Trinidad, an old cobblestoned village up the road. Very picturesque, down to the old man with a cigar that offers a photo for one Cuban tourist dollar, the CUC (which is pegged to one US dollar). I think he does well.

This photo cost one CUC and I think the cigar is fake. But I like it.

Two days of relaxation gradually turns into one day of fretting over the weather between Cuba and the Bahamas, our next stop. We decide we should stay another day, but then after sleeping on it and an excellent breakfast at the Airbnb we climb to the roof where we can get internet from the down the street (Government provided Internet is one CUC per hour). We realize we can fly that very day – so we quickly pack up and head off to the airport.

Departing Cienfeugos airport is painless though they do go through our plane and luggage with drug sniffing dogs, who are apparently just fine with Cuban cigars and rum. One dog alerted on the snorkeling gear (which they didn’t search), but really, wouldn’t most dogs? Note to self – next time hide drugs in snorkeling gear.

Next Post in Cuba Flying Adventure: Flight from Cuba to Bahamas

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