What a treat to start the morning, watching the World Cup finals in a bar in Cienfuegos. It was a great location for photographing the people and the soccer game was exceptional! Most of the patrons in the bar were young men who radiated with that feeling that comes with sharing a sporting event with friends. Glasses were promptly filled from large bottles of rum set upon the tables and bottles of beer were quickly quaffed. At first I had thought the crowd favored the Argentinians because there was quite a ruckus when they scored. But then, when France scored, the whole place erupted leading me to believe there might be more French supporters than Argentinian. By noon when the regulation play ended in a tie I noticed that the three extra large bottles of rum on the table in front of me had nearly been consumed by the 6-7 guys sitting there! We spent two hours photographing and just participating in the joyous gathering while watching an exciting sporting event and feeling very much part of the culture of Cienfuegos. This is something I feel most people do not experience when visiting Cuba as they just pass through without connecting to the people. So it was quite a delight to hang out with these young people who were unassuming about letting us photograph them, especially at half time when they had already been hitting the booze!
We left when the game went into overtime and headed down to Playa Giron to visit a museum about the Bay of Pigs, obviously from the Cuban point of view. Our museum guide gave us a tour in English and I think all of us learned some things we had not known, having only previously been presented with the American version of the invasion. Travel is a great way to get different perspectives about major historical events. After our tour of the museum we wound our way up to Playa Larga which is a most beautiful area at the head of the Bay of Pigs. We checked into our casas, which sat on the bay, and took some time to wander and photograph. We also were able to watch a replay of the last hour of the World Cup as we relaxed in the lounge of our casa. Go Argentina!!!
The map shows the area of the Bay of Pigs (Bahia de Cochinos), Playa Giron, Playa Larga and the location in relation to Cienfuegos.