Yo soy bonito (I am pretty)..

The view from Hemmingway back terrace.

Back to reality today and the cold weather and the daily news. Lordy lordy, I don’t miss the news at all! It has been sweet to have a whole seven days with no Trump and no news from home. Life actually goes on and we manage quite well. It’s only when we bring politics into the discusions that things can get heated and people get worked up. Life is a much happier place without news, let’s just turn it off once in awhile?

Ok.. so, to back up here a bit, we did all things Hemmingway on our tour on Friday. It was my intentions this time around to explore a little piece of his life and get a glimpse of Hemmingway, the man. The hotel he resided in before he bought his villa and then onto the villa itself which is preserved exactly as how they left it. He donated the whole property to the Cuban government, including the furniture (they did take the Picassos though). The Cuban government is doing a great job of keeping it just as he left it.

The back terrace, I love the vines.

He lived there with his fourth wife Mary Wells, whom he met while he was a war correspondent in the second world war, as was she. The property is huge with lots of lush greenery and trees, it overlooks the ocean and you can see all of Cuba in the distance. How he must have loved it here. He had a tower house added on, back in the day, with three floors. This was to accommodate his five dogs (second floor) and 55 cats on the first floor, with the top floor reserved for himself to paint and write.

Ava Gardner was once a house guest here and decided to go for a swim in the huge pool which the tower overlooked. Hemmingway was in the tower at the time. She proceeded to strip off all her clothes and swim in the nude. Mary was not amused and marched out and told tell her to get out of the pool, get dressed and to leave the property… a little gossip from our guide.

Moving back to the states.. and here Hemmingway ended his own life with a gun in his mouth, this I don’t understand. He was 62 years old and in poor health. The guide mentioned his many illnesses with sexual dysfunction being one of them. I am puzzled by all this and I managed to get some quiet time in his garden here to digest this information. I need to find a good biography on his life.

We ventured on to a place he liked to frequent and we had lunch there. The table he sat at is cordoned off and a bronze bust of him (the fishermen from here all contributed to have it made) sits out in a stone gazebo overlooking the ocean. Hemmingway also loved to fish here from his boat he named ‘Pilar’ and went on many fishing trips. They say he also used his boat to search for German submarines off the coast of Cuba.. good thing he didn’t find any!

We end our excursion back at the hotel and it is was worth the trip. We make plans to have supper at a place called ‘Chicken Little’ down the road from us, in another municipality. We share a taxi with Max and Devonne (a couple of young guys from Brampton and Toronto) they are going for pizza a couple doors down from our destination. We are all tired of the weary Cuban food it seems.

Our ‘taxi’ arrives in the form of a ‘56 Buick’ and I am skeptable. These cars can break down you know. The guys are thrilled to be riding in one of these.. so we pile in. There is one steep hill that I thought we may have to get out and help push it (stick shift) but he gets it into another gear and we are spared that excitement. The boys ask if we have ever ridden in one of these and I say “hell yes, I lost my virginity in a car just like this”. Actually it was a 68 chev impala hardtop that seen a lot of action, but hey, they liked the virginity story. My girlfriend pipes up that she was not even born yet… so I add to my story that I was an early bloomer .. ah well…

Chicken Little .. it’s a little incongruous here in Cuba, seems like it should be a fast food Chicken chain, right? Well we are in for a big surprise, a welcome drink that is perfect and then we are served the biggest lobster dinner I have seen! A really big lobster along with a smaller one.. this is actually so big and soooo delicious I can’t even eat it all. (hard to believe huh?) its true..

This brings us to a whole week living ‘unwired’ and it has been ok. The ocean being so rough is really disappointing, I wanted to swim in it every day. I have to say that I have met and made more friends here than any of my previous visits. That almost half are from the east is alright I guess.. someone has to live there…

And that’s a wrap!

Yo soy bonito is a the only Spanish phrase I have retained… go figure? “I am pretty” I don’t need to be smart.. lol