When pirates attack

Camaguey is a city built like a labyrinth. The reason for this is because, even though it lies 50km away from the sea, it was constantly ransacked by pirates. The designers of the city decided to make it difficult for the pirates, so they created all their streets to be more confusing than Ladd’s Addition, Laurelhurst and Alameda (sorry for those non-Pdx folks who don’t get that reference) combined – no actual corners, no grid pattern, no way to find your way back if you get lost. The plan was to confuse the pirates so they couldn’t make it to their destination, and then turn the attack back on them. It worked for a while, so they say, although Henry Morgan did make it to the center of town. There is an “intersection” that has six corners all joined together in a haphazard way and extremely difficult to gather your bearings. All in all, it’s a pretty cool city, and it was shown to us by local bici-taxistas!

There is a bar here signed by some of the few pirates to make it – Henry Morgan being the most famous – and a bunch of other (fake) signatures of pirates that wanted to visit but couldn’t quite do so, including John Silver, Drake, Barba Roja (Red beard) and Jack Sparrow. The visit to this bar led us to sing rousing choruses of “Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!” as we zipped our way through the windy streets.

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