On a road off the beaten path we caught a glimpse of El Yunque, a tabletop mountain and summit of one of my up and coming hikes in the area. My driver Octavio asked, "Quieres manejar?" I thought for a second, did I want to drive? After nearly a decade of travel to Cuba, I had ridden in hundreds of classic cars, but never driven one. Candela (wow)!
I moved the bench seat forward as Octavio, a thirty-five-year-old, born and raised Baracoan, instructed me how to carefully let out the clutch (sauve) and give it more gas (dale!). Flashbacks of learning how to drive a manual Honda Prelude in small-town Wisconsin punctuated my first few minutes on that backroad as the tires kicked up gravel and I avoided the large potholes in the road because of recent rains.
Once I got the hang of it, Octavio reminded me that driving in Cuba is not all about the technique; nothing in Cuba is done without a bit of socializing.