Solipsism Gradient

Rainer Brockerhoff’s blog

Browsing Posts published in March, 2005

We’re back. Still very tired; the return trip was tough. We had to get up at 6AM, bus to Havana Airport, then nearly 3 hours of waiting until our flight let over an hour late. Refueling stop at Manaus, then got into São Paulo at 9:30PM. Our connecting flight to Belo Horizonte had to be held until we and 8 other fellow sufferers cleared immigration and customs; we finally arrived just after midnight and still had a bus and a taxi ride until we could fall into bed at 1:30AM.

As they say, there’s no use inventing instantaneous traveling; it’s the peripheral stuff that takes most of your time.

Jamaica was nice and the Jamaicans very friendly, but all the touristy stuff was somewhat of a letdown. Grand Cayman was cancelled due to bad local weather. Very local, actually. The Captain decided to pull out of the harbor and half an hour later it was sunny again; bummer. So we got an extra day at sea.

Isla Paraiso is actually a small bay at one point of Isla de Juventud off Cuba; a large beach with lots of chairs, a small restaurant and most of the usual tourist-milking industry. Looks like it was leased by the cruise company and set up to appeal to people who’ve never seen a beach in their life; judging from the lobster coloring, there were many such. Millions of huge moskitos were having a great time while we sat out a few hours in the shade, plastered with sunscreen and repellent.

Saturday we docked at Havana and wandered all around the old town. Some nice sights, luxury hotels, many extremely poor people. We talked to several and even visited a couple of homes; quite depressing. Our fellow travelers who did guided tours of the new parts of the town spoke glowingly of the reconstructions being done and of how many Cubans are living quite well; we couldn’t quite believe them.

Well, there are a couple of thousand e-mails to sort out and other offline stuff to take care of. Hopefully I’ll have the photos sorted sometime tomorrow.

Posted by Rainer Brockerhoff (away):
In an Internet Cafe in Playa de Carmen, near Cozumel, Mexico…

All’s well so far, although the ship itself (the Holiday Dream) is a little smaller than we’d been led to believe. The major problem so far is the high number of smokers aboard, and the fact that there are no non-smoking areas in the restaurants – even though the ship’s manual says otherwise. Also, the restaurants have defined open hours and you have to hit the 15-minute initial window to get any dinner at all; very cumbersome.

The trip itself was very tiring, we had a stopover in Manaus from 3 to 4 AM, and the plane, an Airbus A320, is plainly not designed for longer distances – the bathrooms simply couldn’t cope. We arrived in Havana around 10 AM local time, went directly to the ship, and after waiting for lunch to open we went straight to bed, to catch up on sleep.

Today’s excursion was to the Mayan ruins of Tulum, which were quite interesting. Expect some nice pictures when I get back, the color of the sea at the beach is astonishing, all shades of bright blue into greenish.

Tomorrow we’ll be at sea, then we’re bound to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Isla Paraiso (which is Cuba, not Panama, as I wrote earlier), then back to Havana on Saturday.

More news when possible…

Meanwhile, we’re packing for a quick and much-needed vacation. This time, it’s a week-long cruise from Havana (Cuba) to Cozumel (Mexico), Montego Bay(Jamaica), Cienfuegos (Cuba) and Isla Paraiso (Panama).

I doubt that I’ll have the opportunity to check e-mail or post anything from one of these places, or aboard, so please excuse any delay in answering support requests. We’ll be back on March 14th.

Well, I was still posting about 1.0.2 when a user e-mailed in with a report about some new bugs, so here‘s a fast update.

Animation is apparently being approached asymptotically icon_wink.gif

Details and release notes are here.

Animation isn’t in there yet, but we’re getting closer…

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