FRIENDS RETURN FROM CUBA…

       Deke, my upstairs condo manager from Montana via Oregon, stopped in for coffee after returning from 3 weeks in Cuba with a couple of French lady friends of his.  He mention 3-4 different places he visited but I didn’t write anything down…he just lives upstairs in case I plan my trip.  Trinidad was a crowded tourist spot with lots of Germans, French, and Canadians on holiday.  Europeans flocked to Cuba after the Paris Terrorists attacks because they are advertising how safe it is anywhere in Cuba at any time.  It is.
     He staying in people’s homes for average $25 a night including breakfast.  That is one or two people. He stayed in a upscale  more modern part of Havana then later in an older part where he was
hosted by the granddaughter of the ex President of Cuba.  It had been his home when he was President.  His host showed pictures that had been taken by one of Castro’s two photographers that followed him around the battlefield as well as the world.  One had been a relative or friend.  She also had collected memorabilia of Earnest Hemingway when he lived in Cuba.
     They visited a village built by the French that they liked a lot. His flight on Air Mexico was around $375 round trip from Oaxaca.  Taxi were around $7-10 and Collectivos were less than $2 I think.  He did say to go now before it gets worse.  It will be packed when the Americans can freely go back and forth and will probably never be the same…as was the fate of Prague, Krakow, East Germany, Saigon, Hanoi,etc

     I had a nice lunch at Biznaga’s Chicken, Vegetable Soup with a Pear and Blue Cheese Watercress Salad. I strolled home checking out back alley shops I pass frequently but never explore…found a couple new restaurants too.






SOME UNIQUE BREWING PROCESSES ON THE LEFT AND REGULAR ON RIGHT



CHECK THIS OUT…TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT EVERYTHING…THE BOOK ..COOKING ???WHAT…THE MEZCAL GLASS.

CEVICHE SERVED LIKE SOUP…GOOD, SPICY, BUT NOT MARINATED LONG ENOUGH 
The next restaurant is participating in Restaurant Week in Oaxaca..25 top Establishments are offering a three to four course meal for $15 with a Mezcal, Wine, or Beer.  This is one of the restaurants I have on my list. I didn’t get upstairs but suspect it is very atmospheric.




The next day I’m on the way to  meet with Helen and Halina , who just returned from 10 days in Cuba also. I stopped at a Cafe that Deke recommended for coffee.  Eduardo Rodriguez is third generation  

coffee growers.  I thought I’d give him a try on the way to Halina’s. I forgot to take my new mid-day 25 mg Beta Blocker for my Blood Pressure and was feeling faint so thought the caffeine would pump it up a bit. Two weeks ago I was taking 50 mg twice a day and now 25 once…with my heart rate up and blood pressure down.

  It worked and I had another Cuban presentation as well as meeting some new friends.  Nora from Holland was there, Bill from Boston showed up and introduced himself along with Karen from San Francisco…just across the Bridge…I assume the Golden Gate or could be to Oakland?  Helen and Helena had a good time and lot of photos and stories to tell.  I’m thinking of making the trip.
     Helen leaves in a couple days to return to Rochester and visit her daughter in Raleigh, N.C. I am
taking her and Halina to dinner as a farewell and a chance to spend some time with my fellow travelers.  I walked Helen back until I we separated but not without having the best Hot Chocolate in the world and the Chocolataria. .
    Dominoes took up the Friday afternoon.  Just Hank and his wife Charlotte from Canada.  Both beat me but they are an enjoyable fun couple so I wasn’t too upset…wait till next week!#$*@&.
   We walked back to the library and on the way stopped at different stands set up in honor of  Good Samaritan Day…I think Oaxaca is the only place that celebrates it.

CHARLOTTE AT THE LAUNDRY..WHERE NUNS DID THE WASH IN 1600 AT THE CONVENT

HANK, THE ENGINEER TRYING TO FIGURE HOW THEY GOT THE WATER IN THERE??

           I went to the market and returned to defrost my refrigerator and make soup.  So pleased and so much of it but it needed salt…I swear the salt here….gets saltier the longer it sets.  I kept tasting and adding instead of waiting a while to taste…so I added some beets, more carrots,amaranth, onions, garlic, spinach and another 1/2 pound of lentils to dilute the salt.  Now I have soup for a month or two!!!  It is good and healthy.

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