Blogs from Santiago de Cuba, Este, Cuba, Central America Caribbean


Santiago de Cuba Frid-Sat 13-14 July Day 8,9 I was still trying to change our flights from LAX to Brisbane but still with no luck due to the restricted technology. Immediately after breakfast I went into the nearby Plaza to hook up to the wifi. The only advantage was that I spoke to Kerrie and Gemma who were in the middle of Gemma’s performance in Creative Generation. It was so good to talk to her which was the 1st time since Poppie died. She had also sent us photos of Gemma performing. That was also so good. I also received texts from Sheryl and sister-in-law Kerry who was in Vietnam. So not all was lost. We left Camaguey around 9.00 am and we did not get to Santiago de Cuba until 5.00pm stopping a couple of ... read more
Castle San Pedro De La Roca in Santiago de Cuba (62)
Castle San Pedro De La Roca in Santiago de Cuba (1)
Castle San Pedro De La Roca in Santiago de Cuba (60)

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Santiago de Cuba February 27th 2018

Today we were up early bright eyed and bushy tailed ready for our journey to Baracoa on the north coast. We had arranged for Robbie, our driver from yesterday to take us to the bus station. We said good bye to our hosts and made our way out. Well I almost got run over crossing the road without looking but no harm done. Just a very angry Cuban driving his kids to school. We made it to the bus station with plenty of time to spare and this today the bus was on time…. departing. Arriving was a very different matter. Along the way the bus pulled off the main road near what appeared to be a large hay shed (sans hay) with a few guys milling about and working on the roof. We thought it ... read more
The mountain pass

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Santiago de Cuba February 26th 2018

So today our host found us a nice driver, Robbie, to take us for a drive out of town. We started off heading towards Valle de la historico. It’s a fun park is about 4 acres of dinosaur statues. T-rex’s, mammoths, brachiosaurus’ etc. And quite a few others I couldn’t name. Very cheesy but fun anyways. The park was originally built by inmates at a nearby prison and in its heyday I could see it being a great family attraction. These days some of the statues are starting to fall apart and are in need of a little TLC. There was a little lake area where they had the heads of some water-living-sauruses coming up out of it and a disused slide. Jo decided it would be a great idea to build a wave pool there ... read more
Valle de la Historico
Valle de la Historico
Baraco beach

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Santiago de Cuba February 24th 2018

The only word to describe today was exhausting. Not because we did so much, but because everything in Santiago de Cuba is a lot harder than anticipated. As I write this I am sitting at our casa, it is only 6.30 and I am completely done in. We walked into the city centre which is about five blocks away. We found the town square no problem, but then the town square found us. We could not walk 5 meters without someone offering us a taxi, or cigars, or a cheap place to buy rum. If the answer to any of these questions was “No gracias” they came back with “what are you looking for?” Everyone wants to help but everything has a price and there are no rules. For lunch we walked into an alfresco café, ... read more
Ride sharing
RIP Fidel
Plaza de la Revelucion

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Santiago de Cuba February 23rd 2018

So we were up early this morning for our bus trip to Santiago de Cuba. The bus was scheduled for 8am, we were to be at the Viazul station at 7.30. But given our previous experience we figured hey, there’s not rush. We left our casa at 7.30 and walked to the station, about five minutes away. Wouldn’t you know, they were on time today. Apart from check in the whole process was very efficient. Ahhhh Cuba So the 8am bus pulled out of the station at 8am. The ride was fairly uneventful only that it was very long. Almost 13 hours. The busses are comfortable but after 13 hours, nothing is comfortable. We were lucky at first because we had the two back rows to ourselves so we could stretch out and try to sleep. ... read more
A creek somewhere
Take off at the lights

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Santiago de Cuba December 4th 2015

The mystery bus tour continued for our 6 hr trip to Santiago de Cuba and a 3 day stop. Trying to stay ahead of the expected bus terminal chaos we decided to head there early only to find we were quickly & efficiently checked in & luggage tagged but our wait time was then prolonged by the inevitable late arrival of our bus. We also set off not knowing we had accommodation for our arrival or be met at the terminal. Arrangements were thought to be in place but were made completely in Spanish & on arrival no one was waiting to pick us & then only one of our two rooms required was available. Fortunately we were able to phone another contact with room availability. The trip itself was a juddering bumpy ride for most ... read more
Ornate Columns
Renovator's Dream!

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Santiago de Cuba October 19th 2014

Out of Trinidad and into Camaguey, the home town of our tour guide Aimara, we bicycle taxi toured with a local guide who told us of pirates, trouble with farming, infamous cheese and the many churches. We also visited a ration shop where locals still use books to track their purchases of government-subsidised produce. Our guide explained the (limited) types of products available and spoke of what life was like in Cuba growing up through the collapse of the Eastern block and the changes he sees coming to Cuba in the future. After a whirlwind tour of Camaguey we were off to Santiago de Cuba. Santiago is Cuba’s second largest city, but it isn’t a pretty city and felt more crowded and unsafe than Havana that had felt like an amazingly safe place to travel around. ... read more
Santiago's main square where Fidel announced the triumph of the revolution
Learning to play dominoes 2 vs 2

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Santiago de Cuba February 14th 2014

Santiago de Cuba – The Afro Caribbean part of Cuba – a city of music, history and an edge The road trip to the City is pretty bumpy – reading would make you ill so it’s relax and enjoy the views along with the jolly noise and songs by the African – Cubans who are the majority of folk on the bus. The Landscape is interesting as it’s much more fertile than any other part of Cuba we have seen. There is fresh vegetation everywhere, the land being ploughed, plenty of horse drawn carts and the shanty towns begin to look more like the ones we see in Afro Caribbean islands – made of tin sheeting and colourful. The journey takes just about 2 hours and even though we have arrived half an hour early, we ... read more
1$ a picture -  Santiago
Buskers Santiago style
Le Trova - Music city  Santiago

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Santiago de Cuba February 6th 2013

Day 464 Thursday 17th January Camaguey hadn’t exactly rang any bells for us so it isn’t too sad to leave, but to be honest the town was only really a stepping stone for us to get to Santiago de Cuba. The casa we are staying in is lovely and the eating area is one of the best and this morning we had an extra friend to share the experience with. Cuba and in particular this area of Cuba has a lot of cattle and with cattle comes flies and some of the more persistent buggers reside in this town but to help us get rid of them we had a little green lizard. The garden area was full of them and this morning we had a small (70mm head to tail) lizard ... read more
Santiago de Cuba

3.5.2012 We arrived Santiago de Cuba, no problems, flight was about one and half hours, though the plane wasn't great got here safely. It is quite hot here 3-4 degrees hotter than Havana and a bit more humid, countryside quite hilly around Santiago de Cuba. Hotel is very clean and comfortable, all built I reckon in the 50's then JUST maintained from there, all hotels are state run and most of the restaurants are too! Very hard to find decent restaurants down here. Spent arvo visiting museums etc all very interesting. After dinner watched a baseball game with our guide JJ, a few rums later retired for the night. 4.5.2012 Went to visit very museum to do with revolution, also had a tour of a cigar factory, no bags, cameras etc allowed in the factory. Santiago ... read more

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