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Published: January 2nd 2014
24.4. - 28.4.2013
Vacations were coming up and we could hardly wait for us to board that plane again! This time we had a little less than 3 weeks and we chose the well hailed Republic of Cuba. The fact that we are coming form an ex-socialistic(ish) country but never really lived in that period, we were very anxious to see the so-called real thing.
Cuba is the largest Caribbean island, however way too small for the biggest nation in the world to be making such a fuss about it. I got the Lonely Planet over 2 months before our departure so I had plenty of time to figure out our routeJ Mostly we decided to really throw ourselves into Cuban stile and take it easy, so we were set to explore only half of the island.
We started in an amazing Havana which was everything like we've seen in the movies. Streets full of people, old-timers buzzing by everywhere and beautiful architecture, sadly decaying but finally being restored. We reserved a Casa particular ahead and got a decent one in Havana Vieja for 20CUC. Once you set your foot into one Casa, you are done searching for
the rest of your trip because you always get good recommendations for the next town. We had 2 nights and 1 day in Havana before leaving west to the cowboy and tobacco land, Vinales. We took it very easy, just trying to get the vibe form the streets of the old part by walking, walking and more walking, knowing we'll come back in the end of our trip and have plenty of opportunity to explore it further.
We took the advice from our Casa owner Lisette to take the Transtour bus rather than Viazul, because it is way faster, it picks you up in the center and costs the same. Vinales was completely different to a bit hectic Havana. Very laid back little town with the most picturesque scenery and beautiful streets surrounded by colorful houses that make you want to stay far longer than planned. We stayed at the recommended Casa ... for 15CUC per night (had to bargain hard) and, as apparently all casas, it had the best food on the planet. Not like many people, we actually enjoy the Latin food, so we could hardly wait to dig in the tasty lobster, crunchy yucca, sweet potato,
fries, frijoles (beans) and bunch of fresh salad...mmmm! There was so much food we could eat forever. Other than that, a real treat is a Mediterranean restaurant in the town that offers quite a variety of very good food for decent price.
So we spent 3 days in this gorgeous town. First afternoon we went horse-riding through the valley of tobacco, visited tobacco finca and tried some cigars. Second day we went relaxing at the nearby beach Cayo Jutias and third day biking with hangover (you just can’t get by without some cuban fiesta).
Next destination was diving in the Bay of Pigs, but we will let you know how that went in the next blog.
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