The sun comes up at 7:15 and the temperature is about 18 degrees, cool and perfect. I sit in a rocking chair in front of our casa particular in Playa Girón and watch the day begin. People are already gathering at the intersection waiting for a ride to wherever they need to go. Filipe, our host, is standing at the front gate, smoking and talking to everyone who passes by. Most of the traffic is on a bicycle, tricycle or scooter, a horse carriage or an antique car.  Tania, Filipe’s wife, is a school teacher and rolls her bike out to go to the school. 

It’s eight and our beautiful breakfast is ready. Filipe serves up fruit, eggs, cakes, small pancakes covered in local honey, and of course Cuban coffee. 

At 9:30 we are cycling back towards Playa Larga looking for a spot to snorkel. Red land crabs scuttle across the road as we pass. The wind is up today so the challenge is finding a sheltered spot with a bit of well placed concrete so we can navigate our way into the water without shredding our feet, knees and hands on the sharp coral. At 11 kms we find it; the water is clear and beautiful. The coral is alive and new growth is bursting out of the ocean floor. I float above it enjoying the beautiful tropical fish in their coral palaces. 

It’s 1:00 and we are hungry. We ask Philipe if he can make us bocadillos, but he is out of bread. He directs us instead down to a restaurant where we we split a delicious plate of lobster, rice, salad and plantain chips. 

It’s siesta time in the heat of the day. We awake to the happy babble of the neighbour’s kids returning from school. 

I’m seated again in the shade in front of the Casa. I write and paint as a few raindrops start to reach the ground. It’s the first rain shower we have seen. I quickly fetch my laundry off the line before it’s soaked. I love the smell of rain on a hot day. 

Tania is back from work and dinner is on the table. I can’t understand how our hosts can be so generous with the amount of food they provide. Tania, a teacher like me, makes $560 a year! She asks what my teaching salary was in Cuban pesos. The number seems unimaginably high. 

The dinner tonight is fish and it’s fresh and beautifully cooked. We shared the meal with another cycle touring woman from New York City. She is much tougher than me. She is going solo and camping most nights. 

We wrap up the evening with a discussion with Tanya about Justin Trudeau’s.  We told her that we have read on the internet that Fidel is Justin’s dad.  Justin is handsome and has a full head of hair, so who knows?  We all howl with laughter.

This wonderful day was brought to me in part by Imodium, because, hey, no day is perfect 😉

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