Prolongating our visa

Our visa was valid until the 11th January for 30 days. Since the weather was predicted to be quite windy for at least one week (coming from east which meant wind and waves against us) and we didn’t want to hurry to leave Cuba because our friends were still here we decided to prolongate our visa for one more month. Since things needed always time we started our "project" on the 8th January. 

We were told in the marina that we had to go to a bank called „bandec“ and had to buy 4 times stamps with a value of 25 CUC. We were lucky to get the stamps because the closed the bank at 15:10 when we were finished. Afterwards we should go to the „Carnét de Identidad“ to hand in the stamps and get a stamp in our passports. But it shouldn’t be this easy. We arrived at 15:30 at the Carnét and were told that it would close at 16:00. We should come back tomorrow because there were still sitting 10-15 people in the waiting room. We were told that they close at 17:00 and the second day Claudi read that they close at 17:00! Arg!!

Next day new luck! We arrived at 10:30 and should have enough time because on Thursdays they close at 12:00. This time we were really fast because we didn’t have to wait. We showed our passports and stamps. Then the woman asked about our health insurance document. We thought we were in a wrong movie because nobody has told us about this. We had a printout on our boat and had only a scanned document on our mobile. But as it is Cuba they need it as a printout! We were advised to print it out at a „shop“ called Eden. It was 4 quarters away from the Carnet and it was 11 o’clock. When we reached the shop and asked if they could print out a document a woman told Claudi that the machines have been abgestellt and would work again at 1 o’clock! This couldn’t be possible! But this shop didn’t look like as if it printed out any file of a mobile! We decided to go back to the marina. It was 11:15 and Dieter decided to drive with the dinghi back to the boat and take the health insurance document in paper! It was 11:30 when we drove back to the Carnet. Claudi convinced Dieter to try to finish this horror story. At 11:40 Claudi went straight to the desk and showed her things. This time the woman was happy and could fill out her documents to prolongate our passports!! Juchuh, what a relief!!            

On our way back to the marina we made a little diversion because we had seen some railway lines and wanted to know if there was a train from Cienfuegos to Havana. Unfortunately, we got to know that 20 years ago the trains stopped their service. But everything seemed as if it started every day again...

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