Saturday, 11 June 2011

Guardalavaca and Chorro de Maita

This day we managed to leave the hotel quite early as we had gotten a good nights sleep. Without a tourist guide we headed to Holguin's best known tourist destination Guardalavaca (watch the cow). The road is great and it is only about half an hours drive away. One of the reasons for going was that I was having wi-fi withdrawals and wanted to publish a post. We were told that one of the resort hotels had wi-fi. It did but only for residents and since the rooms started at about 300 CUC (300$US) a night we gave it a miss. On the other hand the internet was only 5 CUC for 24 hours. Hmmmmmm, sorry, you had to miss out. The beach however.....well look for yourself.

Lots of shade


Beach-bars with food, drinks and music

a first-aid tree


a little creek

and a "special effects" picture for you. Got lucky :-)

a view from the point. I could go on but you get the picture. We spent quite a few hours in a cafe, very cheap by western standards but I had to go to the Museum at Chorro de Maita because it shuts at 5pm. Thomas preferred to stay at the beach. This are is very rich in Archaeological sites and a mere 5 minutes drive away is one of the most interesting ones I have ever seen. 

For German speakers I found an interesting link about the museum but the rest of you will have to find one yourself or content yourself with my synopsis. The excavations here started in 1986 and unearthed 108 skeletons of which 56 are on display in the museum in their original state. They belong to the original inhabitants of the island and date from about 1000AD to about 1700AD. One skeleton is of a European, perhaps a missionary.
Apart from the skeletons they also found lots of tools, pottery and other everyday items of the Taino people. 

the excavations



and gold statuettes. The staff were extremely friendly, spoke English when my Spanish did not suffice and stayed long after closing time. They were a bit lonely as I was the only tourist in sight. The thousands of others could not be bothered it seems. Sad. Across the road from the museum was a recreated Taino Village which was closed by the time I left the museum but the caretaker beckoned me in as he was also bored. Nobody all day. 

the entrance to the village

recreation of village life

planting corn.

a nursery

and finally a wooden Idol. I highly recommend this excursion if you are in the area.

By now I was gone well over an hour and would have stayed longer if I had not left Thomas at the beach. I need not have worries as he was quite happy speaking with the locals when I got back. This entry is a lot longer than I had intended but there is so much to see. The day was by no means over but I have kept you long enough. More tomorrow. Bye :-)


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