Cuba

October 4, 2011

Cuba

We boarded our Russian Thunderbus for Cuba, an A380 Airbus this wasn’t, cue the lights flickering, the crew running around, the cabin filling with smoke, and us smiling like a kid at Christmas.

Landing, overwhelmed by old cars, pollution, humidity, beautiful buildings, tourists, poverty and quite a wonderful setting for a city.

We decided to get our tourist on, and visit some of the sites

This fella’s mug was everywhere.

In the tourist areas, the city was beautiful.

Where the locals actually live, equally historic, but could do with a little more maintenance.

I like my cars big, American and old. I am not going to apologize for the flurry of photos of them.

We toughed it out for a few days in Havana

We filled our time in by going to the revolution museum, where we got an interesting and incredibly one sided account of the revolution in Cuba. Walked around the city during an evening where the locals told us that each street had to have a celebration to celebrate communism. Interesting choice of words I thought.

We hung out with some local kids who’s past time was running across 3 lanes of traffic on the Mercado (Havana’s largest and most famous street), hopping the curb, jumping a 2ft wall and then in the next step leaping 10ft out to a small area of ocean where there wasn’t rocks that would end the day in a light case of quadriplegia.

Purchased crazy orange soft drink that I think was just refined sugar

Checked out the locals “ration book”

Smoked (good) cigars

Punished ourselves by going to some terrible beaches

Havana was a place with a lot of character, I enjoyed the city but probably wouldn’t rush back.

We headed down to Trinidad, instantly I liked it.

An old slavery town which made its fortune on the burgeoning sugar trade back in the late 1500’s

We found a casa particular (essentially a family that has a spare room that they rent out to tourists) called “El Chef”. Lobster was on the menu, it was incredible, and it was $10US. Nice place, amazing food, well recommended.

We saw a hill overlooking the town. Lets climb it!

Sweating like pigs in a butchers shop, we made it to the top and woke the security guard up from a slumber. Expecting to get asked to leave in a not so polite manner… nope. He invited us to come round the back, climb this rickety homemade ladder to the top and explained the history of the place, pointing out which houses were built, where the slaves landed and all the farms that have grown sugar for over 400yrs. Cool stuff.

We checked out the beaches, and were reminded of the dichotomy of Cuba, there is 2 currencies, “CUC” and “National”, the former for tourists and the latter for locals. It isn’t the only point of separation between those who are citizens and those that are visitors.
Tourists

Locals

Other points included transport
Tourists

Locals:

We enjoyed ourselves much more with the locals.

Returning to Havana having thoroughly enjoyed Trinidad, our capstone was probably the most fun. A taxi ride to the airport.
In a 1948 Chrysler.


(note the sticker)

Which then broke down. Even better!
So I put my supervision skills to the test.

Smoke and flickering lights awaited us on our airplane. Cuba was enjoyable, didn’t have enough time to explore. The people are very nice, although most (at least in Havana) want something from the tourists, that something is usually money, it is much much poorer than I expected.
Now the last couple of days in Mexico as we head to Belize.

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3 Responses to “Cuba”


  1. Wow, Adrian! How cool to see so many old American cars!! I bet there are more on the streets there in Cuba than there are here! =D

  2. Clayton Says:

    I honestly wonder where they get the parts to keep those old classics running.

  3. Steph Says:

    Loooove it- thanks for sharing, always wanted to go to Cuba & u brought me there:)


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