Walking in Colourful Cuba – 21st November – 6th December
On our third full day in Cuba we were due to return towards Havana, with a one night stop in Saroa, but were unable to leave the area before midday as military manoeuvres were taking place.
Once able to depart we retraced our route along the motorway, which we had travelled in darkness on our arrival. During our trip we learnt of the differing coloured vehicle registration plates, blue for government owned, yellow local, red tourists and green ministry of the interior.
We saw groups of people standing by the roadside and were told that they were waiting for lifts and where there was someone with a yellow top he was a government official who was able to stop government vehicles with spaces. Many of the bridges had no connecting roads and we learned that these were known as umbrella bridges. The bridges had been built to link communities on opposite sides of the motorway, but finance had run out and the roads had not been built.
Soroa was a one night, overnight stop, where we arrived later than had been planned because of the military exercise. Despite this, the rooms were not ready because the preceding guests had also been unable to leave due to the same military manoeuvres. While waiting for them to be prepared we visited a nearby orchid garden and walked to a hill top view point, where for once we looked down on the Turkey vultures.
Our night in Soroa was not without incident, Andy who had lost his phone had no way of knowing the time, and had arranged to be woken by a knock from another of our group. He was awoken early by what he thought was a knock on his chalet door and he showered, packed, and dressed. He went to where we were to get the coach only to learn it was still 5.30am! He then encountered Miriam, also from our group, who was walking in the hotel grounds having wrongly received an early morning call and not being able to return to sleep had decided to walk in the hotel grounds. On trying to return to her room Miriam mistakenly tried our door!