Blogs from Cuba, Central America Caribbean - page 6

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Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana July 27th 2013

While planning my trip to Cuba, I was concerned about spending too many days in La Habana. I don't care much for big cities, particularly in Latin America, but my friend was pushing to spend three nights in Habana to start, and then one more before leaving the country. In the end, we ended up leaving the Cienfuegos / Trinidad area a day early to get more time in Habana, which in the end might be the most interesting and entertaining city I've ever visited. We still didn't end up making it to some of the places we wanted to see in and around the city, so I'd say it could be necessary to spend about a week there overall to do it properly. What makes it completely different than other big cities in the world ... read more
La Bodeguita del Medio
Museo de Hemingway
Puro

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana June 29th 2013

So after an eventful journey, my tip never fly on a long flight with Air France totally rubbish. We arrived in a very hot and humid Cuba. We jumped in a taxi and headed for the Casa in La Habana. The place we were staying was a lovely little flat looked after by a friendly lady. We ventured out the first night to have a look around and of course find some Rum! We visited a lovely bar and listened to some good music and drank some cocktails. Havana is an Interesting place to visit, spent the days walking around looking at the amazing old buildings that are being restored and watching the classic cars pass you. Drinking rum, smoking cigars and talking to friendly locals (even if they are all trying to sell you somthing) ... read more
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Central America Caribbean » Cuba May 11th 2013

Having spent a few days in Havana, and then a week with Jack, Linda's brother on the Isla de la Juventud, it was time to explore the main island of Cuba. We took the ferry/bus route back to Havana, spent the night with Jose and Lourdes, and then set out by bus to Vinales. Vinales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba, is a picturesque small town set in the heart of Cuba's tobacco growing region. The valley, famous for its tobacco and the mogotes mountains, with their rounded tops rising abruptly from the valley floor, is home to some 30,000 inhabitants. It is located about 150 kilometers west of Havana, just a nice little bus ride. Vinales' claim to fame is: Cuba produces the best cigars in the world, Pinar del Rio produces the best cigars in Cuba, ... read more
Contradictions
Vinales - The Mogotes
Our Casa Particulare in Vinales


We left Thailand on February 11th and headed to Mexico to meet Luc and Colette. We arrived in Puerto Vallarta the afternoon of Feb 12th after 32 hours of traveling and picked up our rental car. We headed to our budget ($36 per night for a 2 bedroom) AirBNB apartment and tried to rest. Our days and nights were so mixed up it was difficult to sleep. Next day, we met Luc coming in from Dubai, and an hour later, Colette coming in from Saskatoon. We got settled in and enjoyed a drink or 2 around the pool with other Canadians who were staying in the same complex. The next evening, we drove just a little south of Mismaloya to meet other Saskatoon friends, Kevin and Dana. They were staying 'in style' at the brand new ... read more
Overlooking the ocean at the Garcia Blanco
Cheers!
At Bucerias, MX

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Matanzas » Varadero April 26th 2013

After a full month in Cuba we were ready to head for home...but always in the back of our minds were the worrying memories of the very difficult outbound sail. We knew that the further we went into April the less likely we would have to deal with north winds... we would be heading due north. We left Marina Darsena at 8.30am on Saturday 13th and dropped anchor just south of Miami at 2.20pm the next day. The return trip was much, much better ... fair winds and gentle seas (well, mostly!)... but a long haul for us; 180 nautical miles, 30 hours; overnight. We dodged 5 cruise ships (actually they dodged us!) and several freighters. The Gulf Stream gave us a good boost when we found it off the Florida Keys...pushing us along at 8, ... read more
Che memorial
Cuban waratah?
At sea

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Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Trinidad April 22nd 2013

We were pressured into breakfast at Miriam's on our last morning, which we cannot say we regretted. For $4 each we had a feast of fruits, yoghurt, breads, omelettes, ham and cheese rolls, fresh guava smoothies and hot chocolates and coffees with biscuits. All cooked by Miriam and Linda. We were absolutely full! We payed Miriam and gave her and Linda a koala and kangaroo little plush toy and small tip. Both hugging and kissing us as we left, we set off to Elio's. Sad to leave Miriam's, she had become our Cuban mother! Once welcomed again at Elio's we were given a top floor room with a small courtyard on the roof. The man explained Elio was actually in Rome and he was a friend from Havana doing a flavour. He showed us around and ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Matanzas » Varadero April 21st 2013

We spent a month in Cuba; took several side trips and rented a car for 4 days to explore the region west of Havana. My impression is that Cuba is beginning a "quiet revolution;" farmers, fishermen and small time businessmen are getting some opportunities to experiment with free enterprise. The black market rules. Everything "falls off the back of a truck" if you know where to look. There are 2 currencies. The tourist CUC is worth roughly $1... the 4 of us wilted one afternoon and headed to the air conditioned state run marina restaurant....8 beers and 2 Cuba Libres later the bill came to 12 CUC. The Cubans use "nationals"....24 to the CUC...a dozen bananas in a farmers' market cost 5n or 20 cents. Beggars and touts are a nusiance at tourist sites (such as ... read more
Cienfuegos
handyman special
Trinidad

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Matanzas » Varadero April 20th 2013

After several frustrating seasons where weather, health or other circumstances prevented us from making a real ocean crossing to another country....this year we finally made the jump to Cuba, and back! There is no simple way to describe the experience. The outbound crossing was extremely challenging for us. Wind and wave conditions exceeded predictions considerably...despite checking 3 different sources for weather they all proved to be wrong. The 108 nautical mile crossing took us 24 hours, most of it hand steered as our auto pilot was overwhelmed by the size and strength of the waves (we found a clump of seaweed on top of our dodger when we were cleaning up the day after arrival.) But we made it and were glad to have achieved a "bucket list" goal. Our buddy boat, Lorbas, with Rick & ... read more
Miami
Marathon
final pit stop

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Trinidad April 20th 2013

It was a long, and smelly 7 hour bus trip from Veradero to Trinidad. We had gotten slight food poisoning from a cheap local place we had eaten the day before and thought it wise I sit near the back of the bus for a quick dash to the toilet. What we didn't consider was the smell. The whole back of the bus absolutely reeked, more so when people would open and close the toilet door. We were 3 hours in before the first major stop. As soon as people exited the bus we quickly moved towards the middle of the bus. The aircon was on full blast and we stupidly wore shorts and tshirts, shivering and trying to huddle together for warmth. The bus was older than the one to Veradero and although it reclined ... read more
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Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Matanzas » Varadero April 17th 2013

After a somewhat stressful pickup from park central, we were on the bus to veradero. It was only a 2 hour ride but the buses were nice and the guide on board pointed our some interesting sites such as the Havana rum factory and a few beaches. We stopped for a break at a somewhat touristy look out over the highest bridge in Cuba before boarding our bus again to Veradero. We were dropped at the closest hotel to our Casa. It felt like forever away walking in the scorching heat with our heavy packs but were greeted by the smiling owner of the Casa and shown our beachy little room. On exploring Veradero we realized the main strip was much longer than expected. After walking around all Havana previously we were glad to relax a ... read more
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