Susan and Norman's Cuban Odyssey
page 2

Descending

Alex ties the rope to a tree and one by one he talks us down the cliff. Mr. Rope Tosser is now Mr. Canadian Tourist Catcher, and between the two guides, they tell us, very precisely, where each hand and foot must go. Unfortunately, Alex's English is a little wobbly when it comes to distinguishing Left from Right, but eventually each of us makes it down in one piece. We are all very pleased with ourselves.

Before the Tory Cuts there was a ladder

Janet bravely goes first

Donna, even more bravely, takes the plunge

Alex doesn't need rope or assistance
We emerge from the canyon to find ourselves on the beach, where Jamie has been practising sloth all morning (and is proud to do so).

Bedspread art today is two sculpted hearts.

Lunch, then a well-deserved nap on the beach. Sloth is contagious. But not for long. Around 4:30, Norman and I set out on a walk to the public beach, 1-2 Km down the road.

On the road we meet Josť, who seems to be un hombre sincero from the land of the palm trees, and suggests we go to the artisans' market beyond the beach, but not today. Josť's English has its limits, but we manage, since Norman has a little Spanish, including "I am a teacher of mathematics."

We head on to Juragua Beach, accosted by legions of enterprising young men of varying degrees of charm (or lack thereof). Augustino, Ray, Emilio. Norman's Raptors ball cap is a hot item, but he's already promised it to Alex.

We watch the sunset from this beach, at least we try to while Emilio, not terribly appreciative of such every day events, attempts some wheeler dealing.

We walk back to the hotel, arrive in the dark around 6:30.

Supper with Lynn, Jamie, Janet, Dora and Bill. Dora and Bill are from Kelowna and are acquainted with Norman's late uncle, Binkie Marks.

The non-meat pickings (I am a vegetarian) tonight are very poor. Vegetables seem to be in short (and unimaginative) supply, except for cabbage, potatoes, rice, potatoes, and potatoes. However, the coconut pie is excellent and, as there is only one on offer, I take a piece prior to stocking up on rice and salad.

By the time the others are through their main course, the coconut pie is gone and I am the envy of the group.

Tonight, not having mixed my drinks quite so recklessly, I stay up to watch the show. It's International Night. Some great dance routines, plus sophomoric magic act and very cheesy comedy skits. When the audience is enticed to join in the dancing (looking very much like an aerobics class) Norman and I slip away to our beds

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