We were woken up early because the owner had 5 different bird cages outside our room, again it was a big breakfast, with one of the best coffees Fredrik has ever had. We had decided that we wanted to have a drive outside of town to a river and then to a beach about 20 km outside the city. We were picked up by a big american car that drove us to Rio Toa, where we had a round trip on the river with a rowing boat. When we got back on shore we continued on a very bad road to Playa Managua. The average speed was 15 Km/h, so the 12 km left took almost an hour. When we got to the beach we found Jorunn and Hans that were there with a German couple (Sandra and Christian). We started by cooling off with a dip in the ocean before we ordered a beer from one of the locals selling at the beach. It was one of the better beaches we have been to in Cuba, with no big all inclusive hotels near it. We had another swim before we went back to the car after two and an half hours. The drive back felt faster, but after checking the GPS track the average speed was still 15 Km/h. When we got back to the casa we had a shower and got ready to go out to palidar La Colonial where we had agreed to meet the people from the beach at 7 pm.
We were responsible for booking a table, but our host José didn’t think it was necessary, or at least that’s what we think he said. He didn’t speak a word English. 🙂 Just in case, we went to the paladar 30 minutes early and asked if it was possible to get a table for 6 outside. As always in Cuba, everything can be done, so they moved a big table from inside the paladar out and we had half the terrace to ourselves. We sat down and ordered a beer and looked over the menu, this paladar is known for their special coconut sauce and we agreed that we should order different dishes with that sauce. Jorunn, Hans, Sandra and Christian arrived as agreed at 7 pm. Christian who speaks Spanish took care of the ordering. Gunnhild ordered shark and Fredrik shrimps, and we shared so that we could taste both dishes. Fantastic food! During dinner we ordered 3 bottles of wine and some more beer (all six of us), and after dinner we continued with a lot of rum and cigars. We all told stories, laughed a lot and had a really great time. We had a long dinner and were the last to leave the paladar. We continued to Casa de la Trova, where there was a new and better band than last night.
After more dancing and more drinks, we were standing outside in the street talking after the concert ended. Jorunn bought a CD and got it signed by all the members of the band. Several of them came over to us to talk, and the presenter (or compère) also joined us. He proudly showed us the digital camera he had received as a present from a friend, but he couldn’t use it because it had no memory card. Luckily Gunnhild had a spare one in her purse, and the rest of the evening he walked around with a big smile, taking pictures and promising us a special present if we ever returned to Baracoa. Fun!