Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Plugged in to the Matrix again.

Hi folks, am back in Frankfurt and a fast reliable internet connection. Once again I can open my mail, chat on several different platforms (gmail, facebook and skype), catch up on the news, watch streaming south park episodes, check chess sites for the news etc. I fear I may not leave the computer for several days :-)

It seems like a lifetime ago when I left Havana and the expensive and slow wi-fi at the Cohiba hotel. All did not go as planned. The tournament in Santa Clara did take place but without us. The day after the tournament we went to the lobby at 10am to wait for our bus. That it was not on time was no big surprise but at around noon we got a bit impatient and asked what was happening. It will be here at 1pm at the latest. It did finally arrive so we went over to it and.....waited.

After another hour of waiting we saw several players jump into a private taxi and asked what was going on. Well it seems there was a mix up. This bus which was some sport transport had other people to take to Santa Clara or somewhere and the driver didn't want to take anyone who was not a participant in the tournament which had not been finalized yet. Of course no list could be shown nor could any documents be produced. I have no idea how it ended because at about 2pm after 5 hours of pointless waiting we left and took a taxi like some other players. You will never guess where our next stop was. Really, NEVER.

No way I was gonna miss this mate :-)

What exactly is this? Well I did ask but got no clear answer. It seemed like any other Cuban village except for a Chimney with Australia written on it. Apparently there are other Chimneys with the names of other Countries written on them.

Not much happening in town. Then we hit the road to Santa Clara again. Traffic on Cuba's only Autobahn was not a problem.

The 270 km took us about 3 hours including the short stop in OZ. Apart from the lack of traffic you can see the gathering storm which we soon drove through.

We arrived at the Parque Vidal in the centre at the same time as the players, organizers and arbiters and again it seemed that everything was back on track. One of the planned foreign players had decided not to come so we were told the tournament was no longer going to be international and were asked if we wanted to play anyway. No problemo. 
One of the local players told us he knew of a nice "Casa particular" just around the corner from the Hotel Santa Clara Libre , Casa Mercy, and we did like it and decided to stay there. This information was however not passed from one organizer to the other so when the uninformed one came to look for us at the Hotel and couldn't find us he assumed we had left and didn't want to play. In the end instead of a 15 player, 14 round tournament  or a 13 player, 11 round event, they put together a 8 player 14 round double round robin with only Cuban players.
Anyway, if all had gone according to plan we would have spent all our time in Santa Clara and could not have undertaken the road-trip which I will report on for you over the next few days.

Hasta manjana amigoes :-) 

1 comment:

  1. Alex, SO glad to see you back in cyberland ! I missed you and your excellento aventuras !! Can't wait to read about the road trip !!
    Post ON !!