A zero day. We love our zero days and the chance to explore a new town and meet new people. It is funny how, if you were in a car and driving through the these towns, you would never stop much less get to know the locals. The towns are usually small and don’t offer much in the way of attractions or entertainment but some of our best memories are of the people we have met along the way in these towns.
Coming into Cuba there is about a 12 mile road walk along the highway. Road walking along forest roads or dirt roads is fine and accepted as part of the trail but highway walking is awful. I decides that we were going to hitch into town rather than walk so as soon as we got to the highway I stuck my thumb out. The first car stopped. The ride was very interesting as our driver was a young man from the local reservation who had an eagle claw and feather hanging from his mirror.
We get to our lodge, The Cuban Lodge and as promised find our room open with the key inside. I had called ahead the day before and had ended up chatting with the owner for about 30 minutes before making our reservation. As the owner would not be there to meet us she had told us to just go on in and find her in the morning to pay. What I had forgotten to tell her was that we were hiking in and not in a car so about 11pm that night we were woken up with a banging on our door. Her husband, who spoke very little English , decided to see who was in the room since he didn’t see a car out there.
The next morning I went to the office to pay for our room and again ended up chatting with the owner, Flora, for about 45 minutes. We discussed our kids and she her grandkids, and the people and places we knew in common. It is funny how small the world is sometimes when you take the time to get to know someone. At the end of our conversation I asked about the best place to go for breakfast. Flora recommended a place about a mile and a half up the road and when I laughingly said it was too far to walk she instisted that I take her car. I declined the first two times but when she put her hands on her hips and said that she was a grandma and that I would do as she said I gratefully took her keys and suggestion for a breakfast spot and we enjoyed a great breakfast of pancakes and huevos. This would be the first of two times that she lent us her car. It’s funny that we had just met but I felt a real connection with Flora. Apparently she did too because when we left we hugged warmly and she gifted me with a beautiful silver Navajo bracelet. It is a gift I will always treasure.