The taxi ride to the airport let me enjoy the first huge rainstorm I'd seen in my ten days here. I was lucky with nearly constant sunshine. By the time I got through the customs, the sun was back out, and setting through the windows.
This airport has that institutional smell of decades-old tobacco smoke. It's a smell that you think you remember, but you realize you don't, when you smell it again after a decade or two. I made my own contribution, spending my last few cuban coins (cuc of course, not the semi-worthless pesos nationales) on a Romeo y Julieta, puffing it proudly in my plastic chair, to the extreme dismay of some folks sitting next to me. Well, this is Havana airport after all. Where else, on this planet, can one sit indoors, in a public place, undisturbed, puffing away on a giant stogie? Yes, this is the place. And since I wouldn't have this chance again, to puff my tarred lungs away indoors and undisturbed, I didn't think much of the gradually growing plume of smoke around me. Eventually though the distressed looks got the better of me and I got up to pace around.
It turned out that the airplane was delayed, they wouldn't say how long or for what reason. After about four hours they let a few facts leak out - drugs on the plane. Who would smuggle drugs *into* Havana? The pilot, apparently. After 7 hours they let us on the plane. Goodbye Cuba.
This is the last panorama I'll be uploading from my trip to Cuba. I admit I've been putting this one off. But here it is. Case closed. What an adventure. Never has ten days seemed like so long, and never have I felt so far from home, as when I was in Baracoa, wondering how I would return to Havana on time. As usual the bad memories mostly fade and the sense of adventure magnifies itself over time. I hope I'll be able to go back to Cuba sometime soon. Until then I'll enjoy looking at these panoramas, again and again.