Friday, January 21, 2022

Day 43: A Friendly Bank Robbery in Cuba

June 3: I woke up relatively early for a zero day. Although it was a zero day, that didn't mean I still didn't have some tasks to take care of. My first order of business was walking down to the laundromat and doing a load of laundry. I only washed my clothes, though, carrying the wet clothes back to my motel room and hanging them around the room to air dry. Less time at the laundromat meant more time for other things, and it was eco-friendly too! Win-win!

My laundry wasn't going to wash itself, so I headed to the local laundromat.

Then I headed over to the local hardware store where I picked up a tube of Shoo-goo. There was a good-sized hole forming in the upper part of the shoe, where the sole of the shoe wrapped up the edges and connected with the top. It hadn't been a problem as of yet since the hole wasn't at the bottom of the shoe and none of my foot was hanging out, but I worried it would continue to get worse. It was still a nuisance, though, since dirt and small rocks often wedged itself into the shoe. The dirt just made that foot absolutely filthy--even more than usual for a thru-hiker. Then I often had to stop to take the rocks out. I hoped a little glue might help with the dirt and rocks, and help the shoe make it to my next trail town where I expected a new pair of shoes to be waiting for me. But I needed the shoes to last me until I reached there.

I had washed the shoe as best I could in the sink the evening before, but the Shoo-goo's directions said the shoe should be both dry and clean before applying. I couldn't really say that the shoe was clean--I don't think anything could ever make the shoe genuinely clean--but I hoped my little rinse under the sink at least got rid of the worst of the dirt. Then it had all night to dry. Now I applied the Shoo-goo and set the shoe down for the glue to cure the rest of the day. I hoped it would be usable again by the next morning when I planned to hike out. *fingers crossed* In the meantime, I'd just walk around town using my Crocs, which is what I typically did in trail towns anyhow.

With those tasks out of the way, I finally sat down to eat breakfast and realized, somewhat surprised, that I didn't have any breakfast in the room. I had eaten the last of my cereal the morning before and hadn't yet resupplied. Instead of heading to the grocery store, I decided to splurge with a quick visit to McDonalds not far away where I ordered a meal.

And after that, I finally headed to the grocery store to do my grocery shopping. The grocery store, from the exterior, seemed to be very hiker friendly with three different signs welcoming CDT hikers to the store. Inside, well, inside was just like any other small grocery store. I can't say that the employees seemed particularly happy to see me, but they didn't seem annoyed by my presence either. Mostly indifferent, which is pretty typical and what I expect--but kind of a disappointment after the three signs welcoming CDT hikers. But I did like the welcome signs outside which was more than most businesses did. And three welcome signs was certainly over the top!

One of the three signs outside of the supermarket welcoming CDT hikers to town.

I was still trying to figure out how to get cash money since I owed Evenstar quite a bit for the two nights that she fronted for my room. I carried two credit cards, but I never use credit cards for cash out of ATMs--the fees are horrendous. I could have done that in a pinch, but I didn't know the PIN numbers since I had, quite literally, never used them. I had a Wells Fargo account, but I left that card with Amanda to deposit checks that arrived into AQ Central. So I didn't have that card. I did have a couple of debit cards which would have worked great, but I left those at home. Weight I didn't need. So I thought. But I had called Amanda to send me one of those cards to the next town on the trail. I didn't want to run out of cash again on the trail, but that wouldn't help me now. I was thinking I could maybe pay off Evenstar by buying everything she needed for herself. Go to the grocery store, and I'd buy all her groceries with my credit card. Go for a meal, and I'd cover it. Until I paid off my debt. It was a little inconvenient to do things that way, though. I could maybe send her money through PayPal, but I hate paying those PayPal fees.

Then I almost slapped myself when I realized I could probably just pull money from my Wells Fargo account. I couldn't do it at the ATM, but there was a branch in town. Why couldn't I just walk in and show some ID and just get cash? Why hadn't I thought of that earlier?! (Probably because I had never done that before.)

So I walked into the branch and a friendly teller helped me access a little cash. I had looked up and written down all of the pertinent information I thought they might want to see: my account number, PIN number, card number, etc. And about five minutes later, I walked out with $200 in my pocket. I just walked in and said, "Give me money!" and they did! I felt like I had just robbed a bank! "I'm armed with a driver's license and a bad odor. Give me money!"  =)

And then I headed to an auto parts store. I barely took two steps before the clerk at the counter turned to look at me and asked, "You looking for HEET?" I nodded and said yes, and he pointed me down the necessary aisle. While paying for it, I asked if they've sold much of it recently. "Yes, we always order extra whenever you guys come through town." Good business strategy. *nodding* =) (For those of you new to this blog and don't know why I'd buy HEET, it works great for cooking in alcohol stoves.)

Afterward, I met up with Evenstar and paid her back, which left me with about $100 in cash. As fast as I spend cash, though, I hoped it would last at least for another month or two.

Evenstar and I walked through town looking for somewhere to eat dinner. We passed a pizzeria, but it appeared to have permanently closed. We finally found ourselves at the far end of town at a busy Mexican restaurant where we feasted like kings, but the complementary chips for the table were really disappointing.

I was so excited to eat dinner that I forgot to take a photo of the food before I ate it!

We finished our meal and headed back to our hotel, splitting up to go back to our respective rooms for the night.

My tasks for the day were not yet done, however. Nope. I had also noticed that the shoulder straps of my pack appeared to be coming off. The stitching around the seam was unraveling. It was very small at the moment, but the longer I went without dealing with the problem, the worse the problem would become. It was definitely better to fix that sooner rather than later, so I pulled out my needle and thread and went to work.

When that was done, I could finally rest and relax for the rest of the evening. Tomorrow, I'd be back on the trail again.....

A second sign near the entrance of the supermarket that welcomed CDT hikers.

The third "sign" was really this lighted one that rotated with a couple of messages, but one of them welcomed CDT hikers, which I caught in this photo.

No comments: