Blogs from Cuba, Central America Caribbean - page 61


Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales April 2nd 2007

After an amazing week at Maria la Gorda, Laurence and I made our way to the small town of Viñales. We were excited for a change in scenery and some time away from the beach and eagerly awaited some hiking and biking in the countryside. Viñales is a burgeoning tourist town with loads of places to stay and things to do. It is situated amongst impressive limestone formations called Mogotes which are supposedly some of the best rock climbing in the western hemisphere. We were dropped of at Casa Benito by our van driver who sugested this small and friendly place. There we met a lovely couple from Toronto, Ian and Elizabeth who we shared many evening conversations with. The atmosphere was relaxed to say the least and the pastoral setting of the town was ... read more
Tabacco drying
Great Signage
Good looking bull

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste March 28th 2007

Well the first entry on our travel blog. This one is being written in retrospect from Mexico City as the internet connections in Cuba were very bad, very expensive and very censored ( will be pleased to know that it is an anti revolutionary site). It is hard to write this from Mexico as it feels like we have arrived back from a period of time in an alternative reality. Cuba has to be the strangest place I have ever been to. It is difficult to summarise and describe at all as it was a totally unique experience (I suspect if the Cuban Ministry of the Interior read this blog it will be a once in a lifetime experience). We spent about 5 days in Havana when we arrived, staying initially in the Hotel Inglaterra, ... read more
Havana rooftops
Capitolio Building, Havana
The grandest post office in the world?

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Maria la Gorda March 25th 2007

hhhhhmmmmmmm, now this is the Cuba we have been looking for. After taking a taxi from Trinidad to Piñar del Rio with a British couple, we spent the night in this small provincial capital waiting to transfer to Maria la Gorda the next morning. This town, Piñar del Rio seemed to be as close to reality in Cuba as we could get. Buildings were in varrying states of disrepair while 1950 chevy´s plied the streets alongside throngs of bicycles. People carried live chickens from coop to dinner table and lines formed for all sorts of regular civic activities. Hearing about the wonderful ice cream available at the state run ice cream parlour, Coppelia we decided to join the line of people and wait our turn for 10 cents a scoop ice cream. Waiting nearly an ... read more
Our Bungalow
Amazing, palm fringed beach
I know, life is tough

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Trinidad March 22nd 2007

After Veredero, we headed to Cuba´s best preserved coonial town, Trinidad. I should have known not to expect much since I have now seen dozens of well preserved colonial towns but we decided to go nevertheless. travelling by bus in Cuba i soemthing else. There are two systems, one for locals and the other for tourists. Once upon a time the tourists buses provided extra luxury and air conditioning, however since the introduction of new chinese busus to the locals only system, there seems to be little difference between the two other than the price. This is just one example of the systems in place seperating tourists from everyday Cubans. At the Trinidad bus station we were met by a sour looking women holding a sign bearing our names. In Havana, the owner of our ... read more
Playa Ancon and a beautiful girl
Incredible beach and water
Cake´s ready

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Varadero March 20th 2007

Arriving in Veredero was a lot like being transported to a sunny Quebec town. The streets were filled with Quebecers covering there burned red winter bodies after spending their first days under the strong cuban sun. Arriving at our resort, Villa Tortuga was like entering another mini-world within Cuba where beer flowed from everywhere, the food was over abundant and mojitos were easier to find than water,not to mention the thousands of European and Canadian tourists soaking up the sun. Bizarre to say the least but needed after 7 weeks spent in the Andean highlands in wool toques and fleece. Our skin milk skin quickly perked up with the added sun and cold mojitos. The food was nothing to write home about but the sun and booze and excellent room all made for a great ... read more
hhmm those ´free´ mojitos taste good
Isn´t she good looking!
The beach


Central America Caribbean » Cuba March 13th 2007

Cuba March 13 to April 12, 2007 Cuba is a fascinating country and travelling one month on this island has been a tremendous experience. We were glad to have made the decision to travel to Cuba while Castro was still alive... Because of the high travelling costs and the challenge to use public transportation, we decided to restrict our exploration to the Western area of the island. Our one-month itinerary was as follow: La Havana-Varadero-Trinidad-Piñar del Rio-Maria La Gorda-Veñales-La Havana. I will first start my Cuba story telling with Varadero and tell about La Havana in my last blog. VARADERO Since we never experienced a full-inclusive resort, we decided to spend four days at "Villa La Tortuga", a medium-range hotel offering all-you-can-eat breakfast,lunch and dinner in addition to 24 hour open bar...not a profitable business ... read more
Trinidad-La Plaza Mayor

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana March 13th 2007

Holy Smokes! Trying to re-cap a month in Cuba is like trying to describe a painting to someone over the phone, difficult at best but I´ll try. Couple of words must first be put out there that I thought about aften when thinking in Cuba, they are.... Incredible, amazing, wonderful, spectacular, frustrating, annoying, overwhelming, complicated, lower middle class, equal, unfair and expensive. These are just some words that provide a sense of the diversity of expereinces happening in Cuba and the richness of this country. While it was by no means an easy trip, although days at the beach with Mojitos did ease my pain, Cuba was an incredible experience that I would highly recommend to anyone even slightly considering a trip here. That said, here is some of our story over the last month. ... read more
Lots of billboards
Lots of billboards
Mural from the Museum of the Revolution

Central America Caribbean » Cuba March 13th 2007

VIÑALES This rural part of Cuba was a true pleasure for the eyes! The small village was surrounded by limestone " mountains" and lush agricultural fields. Palm trees and fruit trees were filled with delicious pineapples, mangoes, oranges, grapefruits.... The coffee cultivated by the farmers had a delicious taste and wonderful smell! I have rarely tasted such coffee! The tobacco fields were abundant and you could see the numerous "wooden warehouses" were the tobacco was dried. We had fresh fruits and freshly grounded coffee everyday. We were relatively quiet during our stay in Viñales as we were both trying to recover from a bad cold that we caught at Maria La Gorda. We were walking throughout the fields, eating fruits with the farmers, enjoying the tranquility of the valley while discussing with the people. Farmers ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste February 14th 2007

Well we can report that our fellow cyclists have turned out fairly normal. Three couples from Canada, single guy from Auz, girl from Russia (very strange!). the tour is going very well, guide is great and just full if knowledge, plus he's fit!! have cycled about 90K already and we feel surprisingly good. We visited tobacco farms and watched the rolling process which is top secret so no photos im affraid. Lots of caves, waterfalls and mountains around Pinnar Del Rio, and Vinales and white sands on Cyao Juitas.... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Trinidad February 10th 2007

after a very good nights sleep at Jesus' and a delicious homemade brekkie we set off for our 2nd home - the bus station. so we finally decided that Trinidad is where the sun is shining and get ourselves on the first bus out of the city in search of salsa, mojitos and big fat cigars.... 5 hours later we arrive in the beautiful town of Trinidad on the south coast. we have nothing planned or booked and we rock up at Tati's casa at La Boca beach where the sun is shining (strongly!) and the Caribbean sea is calling us... A quick lunch consisting of yet more beer and a mountain of cheese is followed by a spot of sunbathing and swimming and local boys exciting themselves at the sight of us in the sea ... read more

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