Tuesday, June 24, 2014
The Camaguey streets were dim; not many people walking except one street near Arturo’s casa particular. Welcome to carnival in Cuba. This street was full of people like a migrating herd of wildebeest at a watering hole. The street ran a few blocks. At one end a concert was being performed. Street meat, alcohol and temporary tattoos were all provided as I walked through the crowd. I came to a new block of music being played by DJs. With it were the bumping-and-grinding Cubans dancing their alcohol off.
As most times, I had my camera gear with me. It was my first time videgraphing my travel; usually I take pictures. I was the only traveler that I saw that night during the carnival. The locals were looking at me like they saw an extra-terrestrial.
A group of women were dancing beside me; one of them crouched down and appeared to be throwing something away into a garbage can. I took a second look and realized there was a baby carriage right beside me which she was attending to. Cubans love to dance but didn’t realize they took their infants late into the Cuban carnival night with all the surrounding beer, liquor and smoke, but the baby was sleeping peacefully with the thundering music. This was not an exception, because I saw more families with their babies and carriages.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
I was trying to walk to Avellaneda Street but realized it wasn’t near Arturo’s casa particular. I took a bici taxi there for 3 CUC. I arrived around 7:30 pm just in time for the start of the parade. The sidewalk was filled with families and party-goers as I recorded bits of the parade. There were dancers dressed in festive clothes, full-covered costumes that looked like cartoon characters, and floats with beautiful, dancing women and bright lights.
On my way home I passed a street disco. I told the bici taxi guy to stop and let me off. I entered the disco for 1 CUC and started recording. One of the disco organizers saw me recording and told me to go up with the DJ. I had to climb using the bars like a monkey. It was just me and the DJ. The view was much better and I could see most of the people down the slightly lit alley. I recorded what I could because my SD card became full.
After the street disco I went to an after party at Copa Cabana around 3 am. The cover was 1 or 2 CUC but there was a commotion at the entrance so I just walked in.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Cuba carnival got to me. I had a hangover from last night. I didn’t leave my room until 7 pm. I decided I wasn’t going to drink. I only ate at a restaurant and saw another parade for a few minutes on a different street. I went back home early.
Friday, June 27, 2014
My friend, Randy, met me in Camaguey and we reached the carnival and parties together.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Randy and I went to the sports bar to watch the World Cup soccer matches. I never saw Cubans so passionate about the Brazilian team; they have never visited Brazil and are probably just on the band wagon. Brazil beat Chile in the penalty shoot-out, but in my opinion Chile was the better team that day.
At night we hit the discos.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Same shit, different day. Still, lots of partying during carnival.
Monday, June 30, 2014
The parades were done and the street vendors packed home. With Cuba carnival being done, my friends and I ate at the Carmen Restaurant near the city center. We had a taxi guy who was reliable and inexpensive driving us around. Before he dropped us off at Carmen he was fine. When we got back in his taxi after dinner, we noticed this guy had a beer bottle in his hand. I wish we exited the taxi, but he drove us to a late-night patio bar. The taxi guy had to run an errand, so we waited for him at the patio. He didn’t come back so we gave him a call. It turned out he hit an ambulance taking a kid to the hospital and had to wait for the police.