We walked through Centro from the Prado for about 30 minutes, up San Rafael, sort of got lost, then found our way. Its kind of a junky, funky artist's collection of outdoor murals and sculptures, some made from old bathtubs. I had expected more, so was slightly disappointed and we left. 15 minutes later a tourist-looking Cuban hailed us as we sat in a park off the Malecon, and he escorted us back to the alley way, where he took us inside the artist's studio, introduced us to the artist's helper, we bought a rumba dvd for 10 cuc's, and were given a handful of good luck powder the helper carried in a plastic bag. This was crushed egg shells, cinnamon, and something else, that was supposed to bring prosperity, when you rub it into your hands. (?) Lots of kids outside, looking for a handout. Tried giving out 3 packs of gum and got so swarmed, we had to leave. Our tourist-looking Cuban then took us to the house of Frank Paix, a rebel who fought beside Fidel Castro, then to a restaurant inside an unmarked house where there was no menu, two tables, a bar, and a guy & girl playing good Cuban music. 15 cuc's for a lunch that I didn't enjoy but the mojito was great. Back to the alley way, where there was rumba music starting on a 2' high stage, completely surrounded by tourists and Cubans 4 ft-deep, and kids selling the rumba dvd that we had already bought. Our tourist-looking Cuban friend kept the kids away from us & I stood on a window sill 4 ft. up, so could see fairly well. The dancing was amazing and very provocative, but the music was very wild, loud and frantic, so we left after 20 minutes or so. Happens every Sunday afternoon. If you meet a Cuban while you're there, or with a Cuban when you arrive, you might end up in some other interesting places.
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