(Day 14 to Day 16)
05.12.2009 - 07.12.2009 31 °C
El Che Guevara
Santa Clara offers the Che Guevara lovers even more memorabilia than in previous towns.
The Cuban people’s fascination with him and his legacy is just incredible in its lasting consistency, considering he’s been dead since 1967. His bravery, principles and early death seem to have allowed him to remain untarnished in their eyes over time.
There are so many wall paintings and murals of him everywhere, on school buildings, at town entrances, water towers, on people’s houses or garden walls and in every town we’ve been to or villages we’ve crossed through so far. Let’s not even go into the tourist stuff: the books, postcards photos of him for sale etc are absolutely everywhere you look and we’re starting to fall under the spell too.. Martin’s in competition with himself to get as many photos of “Che murals” as possible in weird and wonderful places. As for me, the next book I read will have to be “The motorcycle diaries” which I’m saving for when we get to South America.
Fidel and various other famous local figures are seen around too but none so much as the handsome Che, who was actually Argentinean-born.
Besides the Che memorial and museum in Santa Clara, there isn’t really much more to do in this town. Trying to find a cheep, decent looking restaurant for lunch was a total mission and we looked like we were the only tourist in the town!
Some of my favorite Che images we saw:
The highlight was that we stayed in a lovely home (albeit a bit kitsch) with a couple who were very friendly and welcoming; the charismatic owner greeted us as long lost friends and made us feel at home from the start. We were able to speak to them about their history, the relationship between America and Cuba etc which gave us a better insight on things. It really is so much better to stay in these private houses rather than hotels (which of course would also be about double the price!)