I kind of like this level of crumbling charm
Yet another early morning bus got us into Baracoa mid-afternoon, we booked a return ticket to Guantamo so as to guarantee our place [only one bus a day leaves back to Santiago] and then took a cycle rickshaw to our Casa, where much to our embarrassment we discovered the lady who owned the Casa had sent her brother to meet us. After we gave our apologies she told us we'd be staying at a relative of hers a little further down the street, an old colonial property with a cute little courtyard, her brother and sister-in-law were def one of the nicest families we stayed with. After introductions we hit one of the town's beaches, which proved to be a little disappointing, it seems where the all-inclusive tourists don't venture the Cubans care little about the beaches and their cleanliness.
We managed almost the whole of the following day at a much nicer beach around 20km outside of the main town before the storms rolled it late afternoon. After seeing some of the most amazing countryside when we'd climbed Pico Turquino there was little incentive to explore the countryside at any further expense. Its one of these places where the guidebook refers to as a hidden gem and really bigs it up, I'm not really sure all the hype is justified to be honest. We did meet some cool people, have a great night out and met some more Cubans who humoured us on the salsa lesson front, ate some of the best food we'd had all trip so the journey out to Baracoa wasn't entirely wasted, bizarrely we also found the best internet connection we found on the entire island! Another oddity was that it seemed the further we got from Havana
the more English speaking people we met; there were definitely been more English speaking people generally and also Americans in Cuban than I expected and considering the guidebooks slate the food it was much better than I expected, I think even Amanda had been surprised by the level of vegetarian food she encountered, which was easily better than what we'd encountered in Morocco [although she may disagree with me on that one!].
The somewhat disappointing beaches in Baracoa
After several days of bad weather there wasn't much else to do and see in Baracoa so when it came to leave we were more than ready, we almost had a crisis as when we'd booked our ticket the lady behind the counter who wrote out the receipt wrote out the wrong day, we were on tender hooks as we waited to see if we could make the reserve list or was it to be taxi time again? Luckily we made by the skin of our teeth, I think there were only 3 more places after us.