Robaina's plantation

Sunday 27 March 2016

The Rolling Stones in Cuba (Havana) March 25

                  The Rolling Stones in Havana, what a Historic event. It's estimated that 500,000 people came to this concert and I can assure you that this wasn't an exaggeration. I arrived at the venue (Ciudad Deportiva) at 11:30am and found about 50 people crowded around the one of three entrances to the park with many more people milling about the street. By the time the gates opened at 2pm there was a massive crowd behind me and it was the start of a mad dash for the stage. Unfortunately I fell down hard 10-20 meters from the gate and was lucky to not get trampled on by the crowd that followed. However, I wrecked my knee which began to swell thereafter. I kept going, I wasn't going to let anything stop me from seeing my favourite rock band preform in my favourite country, I was witnessing history in the making. The worse part was yet to come....I was meters from the stage but we were packed like sardines. I now had to stand on this bad knee for 6 1/2 hours with no relief. I could only drink what was necessary to not dehydrate because going to the bathroom meant I would lose my spot. The last half hour was the worse but once the band came on I forgot everything. Unfortunately I couldn't stay for the entire concert because it would have been a nightmare getting out behind half a million people....1st in last out. I wasn't going to be able to last that long without maybe doing permanent damage to my knee. But, I made it, I saw them and shared this experience with many young 20 something year old Cubans that were around me for this long anticipated historic event. After so many hours we became a quasi family with me being the daddy to all of them. Despite the huge crowd that had the police, military and special police in noticeable numbers surrounding the area, it wasn't necessary, everyone was loud but well behaved. I limped slowly making my way through the packed crowds and realizing the magnitude of the event with every few careful steps I took. By the time I was able to get to the gates I saw how massive the crowd was. I had to limp another 2 kilometers with a smile from ear to ear before I could get to a spot where I could hail a cab for home. Once there the knee had stiffened up to the point of not being able to move it. But here I am, alive and relatively well with an amazing story to tell my friends and family. I hope you enjoy the pictures, I wish I had remembered to bring my selfie stick.

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