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Archive for the ‘Havana’ Category

Behave Yourself! – Rockwatching Blogging Protocal

 

scan0001, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Well, Rockwatching has been up and running for a number of years now (5 to be exact) and I believe it has contributed significantly to the interest of people like myself who like caving, rocks, the outdoors, gems and minerals in Ontario.

We are just a few short days from 2011 and I believe it’s high time we made some resolutions -all of us  (you my loyal fellow bloggers as well).

So in the interests of all involved a few ground rules to follow on Rockwatching from now on

1) Lets not carry a personal vendetta onto this site which is meant to be a forum where like minded enthusiasts can interact in a positive way.
2) Lets respect each other and try not to get personal when we are frustrated.
3) Lets respect the basics of conservation and eco-minded thought.
4) Lets not assume stuff we don’t know for sure (hence the survey at the bottom of the post).
5) Lets keep in mind that this is all about enjoyment.
6) Lets keep in mind that just because the topic is on the table, every single aspect that pertains to it is not an open book.
7) Lets respect people who are not on the site, private property, reputations etc. Just because there is discussion of a site or feature does not mean permission has been granted to go there.

8) Lets not get petty, self righteous or important. Stop correcting my grammar, spelling or use of terms. I am a writer at heart and so I believe I can use the language as I please (providing it’s in good taste, or if I choose, not in good taste).

9) Lets not waste my time by having to re-direct you to one of the above rules.

Happy and prosperous 2011 – Mick

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Staying at the Jibacoa – Caving in Matanzas

P1010096, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

I think it might be that one evil green eye that led me on beyond the tourist designated tunnels of the Cuevas de Bellamar. I had been given permission to go further by our guide who was an avid caver himself. I still intend to produce an article for a magazine or something about the experience – in fact I have it produced already. Toronto Star had initially suggested that they would be interested in seeing something on Cuba’s caves but that fell through.

As you can see by my wrist band I was at that time resident at one of the Island’s many tourist resorts (Jibacoa). We had picked a quiet place half way between Havana and Varadero – it was beautiful, but the food – Wow, you cant begin to imagine the spagehetti paste filth they served and called it food -stay away from the fish as well, but conversely, some stuff was still edible. The people, now they were great!

Anyway, here I am sweating off the beer from the night before and wading along in tunnels that were just incredible. More pictures to follow soon – please excusee the lack of caving gear, my exploration was kind of winging it, the guide had lent me his little pocket light.

I should be getting back to my essay, I’m supposed to be writing something on health and safety legislation – I’m doing a course in Conestoga taught by a MOL inspector. Pulled off a pretty decent mark on my test – you might remember that I mentioned avoiding it by blogging about my last trip to Dodge. I’m heading back to Kansas for a health and safety conference in Janurary.

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With beer and lots of disco music!

P1000489, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

This is the mouth of a large Cuban sea cave at a place called “Escaleras de Jaruco”. The environment and what constitutes preservation is not always what we call “preservation”. From my diary I offer the following extract…

“It was still high in the mountains and from the viewing platform I could see the hills disappearing into the haze. Behind us there was a field and then limestone cliffs.

From a huge sea cave entrance the disco music was blasting (The speakers looked like they had been salvaged from a Metallica concert). Behind a concrete counter there stood a red-vested waiter (very animated in his conversation with M…) We drank several beers in quick succession and then crawled up behind the bar to see if the tunnels went – they did not. There was no air flow but plenty of corroded stalactites.

M… drove further into the park – thrashing the smoking Lada through the grass. We walked along a path in extreme “holokarst”  – soon several other more promising cave openings”. (more on this area to follow)

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Youngsters enjoy their school outing

P1000872, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Old Havana had more than its share of school children. Everywhere you looked there were mobs of youngsters, partnered up, boy and girl, following the teacher in a string of hand-holding buddies. I thought this picture expressed their characters so well. Notice the extrovert, the shy one, mrs friendly etc. Each child shows their character when observed through the discrete telephoto lens of my camera somewhere near the Plaza de Armas.

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Cubans are wonderful people

P1000301, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

What can I say – Cubans are wonderful people. I was wandering along the beach somewhere near Jibacoa and these two young fellows approached me. “Ola Senor”. They just wanted to have their picture taken and to look at my camera. Cubans will drive you anywhere, take you anywhere and help you in any way they can. We stopped a car and asked the guy if he could drive us to Havana for 20 pesos, this he agreed to do but when I tried to give him 30 pesos he refused and insisted that it was only 20 pesos that we had agreed to. Fantastic people!

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