Cuba Journal: Having Fun In the Havana Sun

  • Copacabana 01
    Fun in the Havana sun!
  • Copacabana 02
  • Copacabana 03
  • Copacabana 04
  • Copacabana 05
  • Copacabana 06
  • Copacabana 07
  • Copacabana 08
  • Copacabana 09
  • Copacabana 10
  • Copacabana 11
  • Copacabana 12
  • Copacabana 13
  • Copacabana 14
  • Copacabana 15
  • Cuban Restaurant 1
    There was massive construction going on near the restaurant (yellow building)
  • Cuban Restaurant 2
    Castopol has amazing food.
  • Cuban Restaurant 3
  • Cuban Restaurant 4
  • Cuban Restaurant 5
  • Cuban Restaurant 6
    Beautiful sunset...
  • Cuban Restaurant 7
    Same sunset, 10 minutes later...
  • Cuban Restaurant 8
    Makes it look like a much busier city than it actually is. :)

This segment titled “Cuba Journal” contains entries written from when I traveled to the country while making an upcoming film. I’m posting these journal entires completely raw, without editing them in any way. I didn’t just write these now… they’ve been written since I was in Havana the second time (I sadly didn’t keep a journal the first time through when I was with the baseball team).

I also have some videos to accompany some of these entries. These are mostly taken from a phone camera while I’m inside my room, although I’m going to try and find time to edit them a little bit to make them more interesting to watch, and to tell the stories better. Therefore, the video content in this journal “may” be edited, but the text will remain entirely untouched.

With that out of the way… Here’s a few entries from day three. They were shorter entries, so I’ve included a few in one post. If you’d like to watch and read any of the previous entries, just visit the rest of the journal.

I’ve also posted another entry with even more details about this day (it was a busy day). It contains a cool video to watch (vlog entry for that day) so go ahead and click this button if you want to check that out too. Don’t worry, it’ll open a new window or tab, so you can come right back here and read this one afterwards without trying to track it down.

Day 3 Vlog Post

Cuba Journal Day 3: Mo’ Money, Less Stress.

Today, Marc Bohland did something amazing for me, and I really can’t thank him enough. In my wallet, was a mere $20. That had to last me for the rest of my time in Cuba. Sadly, that amount of money is hard to make last even one day here, and thus, I was beginning to skip meals, and drink less water to consume monetary resources. I also wasn’t big on really hanging out with anybody if they weren’t directly doing something that I could use in the film.

Marc has a bit of cash, seeing as though he’s leading this massive effort here in Cuba. He’s also a physician with a kind heart for those in need, even if it’s a struggling college student with no money left to his name at the moment. Today, Marc pulled me aside, and after a little discussion, loaned me some money that will be more than enough to get by for the rest of my stay. I’m extremely grateful, and also frustrated that it had to come to this. Other people shouldn’t have to cover for me like this, and I’m once again faced with negativity towards myself for having allowed everything to end up this way.

Thankfully, for the time being, I can put those hardships away for another day now that I can afford to eat and drink with everyone else. I’m not going to be going to a lot of parties, or buying anything other than what I must to be comfortable and have a decent time here. When this is all over, and we’re about to fly back, every cent that I have left over gets returned to Marc, or another person of his organization. My goal, is to give him back more than half of it. Let’s see if I can do it.

Cuba Journal Day 3: La Copacabana

Today was another free day, which created a perfect opportunity for some in the group to head to a few fun places, such as the famous Copacabana Hotel. The photos in my photo gallery section should give you a great idea of what this place is like.

Since we aren’t guests, $5 CUC is the cost of using their facilities. Well worth it for most.

The hotel sits right on the ocean, providing an excellent view of the sunset, as well as the power of the ocean itself. There are two pools on the property, one which is located in the ocean itself. The pool is designed with a wall around it, which would allow a bit of water to flow over the edge, but not allow annoying wildlife to invade the swimming area. Unfortunately, as you can see if you viewed the photos, the wall has taken a bit of a beating, and is no longer doing an adequate job of keeping anything out. Crustaceans apparently love hanging out in this pool.

Needless to say, the pool that’s elevated up with the hotel itself is getting far more usage from the tourist population, and since today is one of the hottest days we’ve had so far on the island, it’s a refreshing way to cool off.

After the pool, along with a few Mohitos, we headed off for our casas to ready ourselves for dinner, which will take place at one of Marc’s favorite local restaurants. Their seafood is apparently very good, and I’m definitely going to try some.

Cuba Journal Day 3: Comida by el oceano

Tonight’s dinner was fantastic. We ate at one of Marc’s favorite restaurants, which rests in style next to the ocean. The view is fantastic from the second floor balcony, as we peer out over the miles of ocean that lay next to us. I feel pretty small. This planet is freakin huge. Technically, we’re only 72 miles away from the Florida Keys, but it feels like we’re in an entirely different world right now. It’s a bit like my experience when I traveled to Vietnam, or the trip to Indonesia. Totally different people, culture, language, and government.

The meal took place about an hour before sunset in a little place named Castropol, which was founded in 1929. The main road leading to the restaurant was currently being torn apart with construction, which I can only assume is performed mostly with good old-fashioned man power. It looks as if they were either fixing gas or water lines, or installing new ones. It didn’t look like your typical “pave the road again” type of deal. In fact, I’m not sure Havana ever gets that. The roads in this city make Michigan roads feel like the Autobahn.

The food was delicious, there is nothing more I can say about that. I had the Fisherman’s Pasta, which essentially is a Bene pasta platter with strip and a variety of other types of fish within it. It came included with some thin and unique sauce over it which I can’t really name, and of course, I got it with a beer as well. Water actually cost money here, and there are no refills of it. If you’re going to buy a drink, the beer cost just as much as the water. Might as well, right?

Sitting by the railing, I was able to capture some fantastic photos of the people below, as well as the sunset sky. I even got a few time-lapse photos, shot with the eye open a full 30″ in many cases. If you’d like to see any of the photos I’ve taken on this trip, you can check them out in my photo gallery section. Prints will be made available for sale upon request, or if you were part of the trip, you can contact me on Facebook and I’ll send you some that you like (digital only) at no charge at all.

Charlie Pryor

Charlie is a media producer, writer, and a traveler. He grew up in Michigan, all of his life and attended Grand Valley State University for a B.S. in Film and Video Production. He's married to a wonderful woman named Hang, and simply hopes to one day turn himself into a man that many will remember long after he's gone.

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