Well, after a late afternoon nap into the evening yesterday, I ended up going to bed at 1am last night which, by travel standards, is really, really late.

Mind you, everyone in my room was also going to bed at this time so it was all cool.

What wasn’t cool, though, was again waking up at 5am.

I mean, what the hell?

I think part of it is just my body adjusting and part of it is being in an uncomfortable bed with a tiny pillow.

Whatever it is, I was up way too early today.

I laid in bed for another 2 hours before I finally decided to haul my butt outta bed and start my day.

What do I do at 7am in the morning?   Well, finish off yesterday’s blog, of course!

A “real” breakfast

Knowing that breakfast at the casa would be black bean soup and sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, I decided I wanted to venture out to see if I could find something a little more substantial.

I looked up best breakfast places in Havana on the internet and headed out to one into town.

It was about a 20 minute walk but, hey, I had all the time in the world and the reward would be so worth it!

I passed by a tank on display a few blocks away but, me being me, I was more interested in the two cats perched on it.   So yeah, the tank photos are really just of cats that happen to be on a tank.

Again, as with the other times I’ve been out and about, I was approached several times by “friendly” people making small talk.   I’ve gotten better at not stopping, saying “no gracias” and being on my way.

In the back of my head, though, is the time I rudely shooed away a little girl selling flowers in Phuket and how it changed my perspective on people begging or offering their services.

It’s honestly a tough rope to balance on.   I don’t want to be rude but you just can’t help everybody and, when you do, it’s open season on you.   On the other hand though, it’s Cuba and people are poor and desperate and by their standards I’m rich and a few bucks wouldn’t hurt me while meaning so very much to them.

Like I said, it’s a tough balance to find while you’re traveling in impoverished places like Cuba.

Eventually, I made my way to CafĂ© Arcangel.   I ordered an omelette with ham and cheese with a fruit plate and a fruit smoothie.

Pretty much what I was looking for.   I mean, I would have killed for some bacon and hash browns, but the truth is, those things just aren’t available in Cuba with the exception of possibly at one of the all-inclusive resorts.

Pharmacy follies

After breakfast I returned to my casa where I asked the woman working the front desk if there was somewhere I could find some bandages, gauze, and medical tape to cover up the open would on my knee from the night before as the bandaids I had placed on it had melted away and worn off in the Havana humidity.

I wasn’t really expecting a positive response to my question as, again, it’s Cuba and going to the drugstore on the corner of the block just isn’t a thing here like it is back home.

To my surprise though, she pointed out a pharmacy a few blocks away while also offering up guaze and tape from a bag she had behind the desk.

I declined her offer and decided to just pop by the pharmacy as I had anticipated needed an ample amount of guaze and tape and I didn’t want to take all of hers.

Besides, it was just a few blocks away, right?

Yeah, um, about that…

I found the pharmacy all right.   I mean, in reality, it was just a tiny store with someone behind a desk with a couple of shelves behind her with a few medical items.

Of those medical items, there was no guaze or tape to be found.   Hell, she didn’t even have bandaids.

I guess I wasn’t really that surprised, although, the fact that there wasn’t something so commonly needed as bandaids was a bit of a surprise.

I asked her if there was somewhere I could find these things and she pointed out another pharmacy on my map about 15 minutes away back into Old Havana.

Alright then, off we go again.

The second pharmacy was much bigger so my optimism grew but, alas, they also didn’t have anything I needed aside from some bandaids.

Well, guess that would have to do.   I bought the bandaids and headed back to my casa.

The ice cream place I went to yesterday was on the way so, naturally, I treated myself to another two scoops cause, dammit, I deserved it after this bandage fiasco.

At the casa, I took up the girl’s offer for her supplies from her medical kit.

Time to clean up the wound and bandage it all nicely.

Hey, by the way, putting hand sanitizer on an open would hurts like you wouldn’t believe.   Oh my God, that stung so bad!

It was clean though and, shortly after, I was all bandaged up and ready to take on the rest of the day.


At 1pm I headed back out again.   It had gotten quite humid by this point but, luckily, my favorite spot for food was literally just around the corner and barely a 2 minute walk.

I was pleasantly amused to find a four person band playing songs and singing right in front of the tables outside.

I sat down at the only empty table which just so happened to be directly in front of them.

Hmm, lunch and a show.

Yes, please.

I ordered my lunch along with a pina colada.

Coming into this trip, I was very wary of getting drinks with ice in them.   I remembered the owner told me yesterday that his ice cubes were made from clean bottled water which meant a blended pina colada was on the table.

I was sitting there, smiling from ear to ear, while sipping a pina colada and tapping my foot to a live band playing cuban songs in front of me.   Does it get any better than this?

I had wanted to try the ropa vieja which is a popular shredded beef dish here in Cuba, but, sadly they were out.   The dish would just have to wait for another day so I ended up ordering goulash which seemed out of place on a Cuban menu but, hey, it was still beef, right?

I ate my lunch, fed some cats hovering around me, and tipped the band 1000 pesos ($4).

It was a good lunch.

Tour time

After lunch, the plan was to pop by the Havana Club Museum for their English tour and, after that, head over to the meeting point for my 3:30 free Revolution walking tour.

Did I mention it was humid?

The 20 minute walk to the Havana Club Museum had left my shirt drenched and I was honestly sapped of my energy.

It’s funny, my natural instinct is to just stay inside to avoid the heat and humidity but, the truth of the matter is that, every day here is going to be hot and humid.

What am I going to do?   Stay inside every day?   Just have to tough it out and drudge on!

The tour cost 350 pesos ($1.25) and started at 2pm.   Our group of 35 people spent the next 45 minutes being guided through the museum learning about the history of rum and of Havana Club.

It was informative to be sure but probably not really a “oh my God, you have to do this” kind of tour.   Meh, it was only $1.25 so it was what it was.

After the tour, I was exhausted.   Not tired so much but just drained.   The humidity really did it’s toll on me and, let’s face it, I’m not really in the best of shape either.

So, while literally an hour ago I had told myself to just tough it out, I also have to recognize one of my rules for my trip and that is don’t overexert yourself.

Honestly, I have all the time in the world and would my life come crashing down if I didn’t go on this Revolution tour?   No, of course not.

At the end of the day, I had had a pretty full day today with alot of walking and I need to make sure I don’t wreck myself for the coming days.

So, I decided to forgo the 3:30 tour and just head back to the casa.


By 3:30 I was back home and popping into the shower.   After a change of clothes, I felt like a new man.

I had no plans for the rest of the day and I was kind of okay with it honestly.

Like I said, I had had a pretty full day early with a very early start.

So, I just hung out on my bed in the air conditioned room for a couple hours, and then, a funny thing happened.

I fell asleep.


In the late afternoon.

The next thing I knew, it was 9:30pm and the day was gone.


I mean, when I said I had nothing else planned for the rest of the day, it didn’t mean I necessarily wanted to sleep my way through it either.

It’s understandable though.   My body obviously hasn’t adjusted to the change in sleep and getting up at 5am again this morning certainly didn’t help.

The real question would be, when would I go to bed tonight and what time would I wake up tomorrow?

A late night dinner

I had told myself that I wanted to try a different restaurant I had mapped out on my map as, frankly, I had been to the one around the corner so many times that I had tried all the dishes I wanted to try from them.

So, with that in mind, I headed out into the dark night in search of a new place to eat.

It was 9:30pm and it was still humid.

It soon became apparent that maybe searching out a new place to eat at this time of night wasn’t the wisest decision.

The streets were darker and less populated and, for the first time on this trip, I felt uneasy walking down them as I clutched onto my wallet in my pocket constantly looking over my shoulder for any impending doom.

The restaurants I had marked on my map were either closed up or just way too expensive and, in the end, I reluctantly walked all the way back to my area of town to the restaurant I had been to many times already.

Thankfully they were open until 11:30pm.

By the time I got there, I had been walking for almost an hour and, again, I was drenched in sweat.

Silly, silly decision.

But, whatever, I’ve been known to make some silly decisions while I travel, so I guess it’s kind of par for the course, right?

By 11pm I was back at my casa for the night.

Three people in my 6 bed dorm had left during the day and the other two were still out so I stripped down and cranked up the a/c.

Ah, sweet relief at the end of the day is an empty dorm room all to yourself sometimes.

Tomorrow is my last day in Havana before I head to Vinales for a few days and then onward to Cienfuegos and Trinidad next week.

The Cuban adventure is just beginning…

Cuba Trip 2024, Trip Journal, Havana, Cuba
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