Santiago de Cuba
I arrived in Santiago de Cuba five days before the Carnival in Santiago De Cuba. My Casa particular (Cuban bed and breakfast) was on Calle Heredia about five minutes walking down to Parque Céspedes. Santiago de Cuba was dressing up for the carnival. Hugo Chavez was coming to visit Raul Castro so it was necessary to paint the front side on all houses along the way the carnival cortège would follow from the start to the finish at Parque Céspedes. All over the city people were training dance steps, preparing dresses for the carnival. One could hear music in each street corner, actually the same music everywhere, Santiago de Cuba was like a gigantic orchestra playing these rhythms. I was a vibration as special feeling one ca only feel in eastern Cuba on the Caribbean side.
I stayed at hotel Wutma in the Piazza area in Addis Ababa for 60 Birr / night about 8 US dollars. This is a small nice budget hotel with a clean room and hot shower. It was in the end of my traveling around Ethiopia and had five more days before flying home. I was at the Piazza then a young man said, do you know me? My answer was no! He said, I am working at hotel Wutma there you are staying. I had not seen the man before. He said, what are you going to do in Addis Ababa? Well, I don´t know? He said, why not rent a car and drive down to the Rift crater lakes?
In the late afternoon I arrive in Holguin Cuba’s fourth largest city (195 000) after a long bus ride from Trinidad. There is actually no good reason for a tourist to stay in Holguin this is an industrial city. The old colonial city of Camagüey Cuba’s third largest city (270 0000) west of Holguin is far more interesting and rewarding for tourists. A taxi drove to Casa Particulares Casa de Rosa near the central areas of the town. This casa was spotlessly clean and had hot-water bathroom. In the evening I went out to see what Holguin could offer for entertainment in the middle of the week. I met Ramon Quintana on Plaza Calista Garcia.
I arrived in the afternoon after an early morning flight to Dire Dawa (Ethiopia’s second city) from Addis Ababa. Tewodoros Hotel was my choice of budget accommodation in Harar I asked for room 117 or 118 for a view of the hyenas crossing the football pitch at night. The room was clean and tidy with en-suite hot showers for 70 Birr (about 10 US $). There was a water shortage and an enormous smell from the common toilet for the ground floor rooms. The manager said, no problem the water shortage is fixed before the evening! I walked out of the hotel to Harar gate then I was about to go through the gate a lad turned up! I want to be your guide what do say? This was one of the so-called plonkers!
I stayed at the chinese owned hotel Great Wall in Mandalay. I walked towards the city centre it was 20th of July then I first met him the bicycle Trishshaw driver Myint Thein or the Trishaw man as he called himself. He had black hair was surprisingly tall to be a Burmese man in his middle age. Myint asked, do you need my service today, I go anywhere?