Blogs from Oeste, Cuba, Central America Caribbean


Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana March 1st 2019

There are multiple ways to travel from Varadero to Havana. We could travel by bus which would cost 10 CUC per person, plus the taxi to the bus station. So in total an amount of 40 CUC, plus the transportation from Havana bus station to your accommodation. For a taxi one way you will pay average 100 CUC. Thanks to the guard of the hotel we found another option, using the collective taxi, which is a ‘friend’ of the guard who collects a number of persons and share the costs. With this option we paid 50 CUC door to door by taxi. We agreed to leave the next day around noon. The next morning, after breakfast and preparing a small bag to spend a night in Havana, we waited to the taxi. The other passengers were ... read more
Paseo de Marti
Coco Taxi

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana February 5th 2019

Cuba. 2019. Summary Cuba, an island of contradictions. Havana is a busy city where there are obviously people making a reasonable living and some taxi drivers etc. wearing heavy gold and using smart phones and yet you see beggars on the street and older people with lowly jobs looking impoverished. I think most people are quite industrious and willing to make money wherever they can but there appears to be working age people stood about, or queuing up for meat or something. These paradoxes also apply to the countryside but with the emphasis of more on the poorer end. Much farm work is done by horse and pony and old Russian tractors. A few farms had larger and more modern tractors but I suspect these were government owned and run by cooperatives. There are large area ... read more
 Che Guevara

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana February 3rd 2019

Day 13. Havana return Good meal last night with red wine and gentle music in background with good keyboard player. Maybe best meal yet and maybe best sleep. Breakfast of fruit, followed by bacon,ham, tomato and scrambled egg. Out into a hot day of 30 degrees again and little cloud. Some climbing past some decent sized dairy farms with Jersey type cows, which may be a cooperative of some sort since they had the odd new tractor about of Chinese origin. Of great interest was the multitude of pony and traps on the roads today with heir best harness and bells jingling. We must have been 100 or so throughout the morning with all the family on board, which we believe were going to a regular gathering of such families and horses. The climb was on ... read more
Saturday trotters
Cuban coffee stop
Matanzas Road sweeper

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales January 28th 2019

Cuba Day 5 Friday A good nights sleep for me in the Classic Vueltabajo Hotel in Pinar del Rio. Room average but comfortable, others fared a bit worse I heard. The previous evening meal was very good, as have all meals so far. Salad, rice and beans, pork, chicken and other meats. I think they are trying tpyfatten us up. Today 26%, cloudy and wet at times but rain not as hard as yesterday, although glad of rain jackets. The roads were filthy and we were like drowned, filthy rats at the end of the day in the village of Pons and 100k of riding. Still loads of ponies with carts and several with men on board with lassos hooked on the saddle. Cuba, a country of contrasts with two boys and one man seen today ... read more
Cigar testing

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales January 28th 2019

Cuba. Day 6. Saturday. Not good news today in Vinales. In the middle of the night I was taken down with severe stomach pains and the rest that goes with it. The same thing happened to Paul two days ago and he is now feeling a lot better. Consequently I have been in bed all day with the tablets and water. It was not until early evening that the pain got to be bearable. Not nice. Luckily this is a two night stay and I still had the room at our Bed and Breakfast (casa particulares). The rest of the group were cycling to the ferry at Cayo Jutia and then onto the nearby island and the beach for snorkelling etc. However, it was a bit wild for going in the water and it rained from ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Pinar del Rio January 25th 2019

Cuba Day 4. Thursday 24 Jan 19 Back out of village and left along valley heading west. Undulating for 10k followed by a lump of a hill Which had us losing water to evaporation in this humid climate with little breeze. I made an error previously about there being a thousand it so old American cars. They may now even equal Turkey Vultures and be in the several thousands. We see them everywhere. Today as we ventured further west we became more rural and vintage. There were nearly as many ponies and carts as there were small tractors including three carts pulled by two oxen, two of them piled high with stones. I suppose the highlight was seeing a chap ridging his crop with two oxen and a little boy of about 4 with him. As ... read more
Oxen at work
Factory still in use

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana January 23rd 2019

Cuba. Day 1. Monday 21 January 2019 Another adventure awaits. A drive down to Gatwick yesterday to stay overnight at the Airport Inn with inclusive parking. A bargain at £200 with B&B for four of us. Nice to meet up with so many familiar faces but sadly Anita has had to cancel at the last minute do to family circumstances. Another drink of coffee and an early afternoon flight to Havana arriving in the evening after a 10 hr flight with plenty of food on Virgin Airlines. Since they are 5 hours behind us we arrived in Havana in the early evening so a quick shower and a beer before going to bed at 12pm, which is 4am UK time but feeling ok. We are not at the Miramar Hote, but next door at the Four ... read more
Stall in Cathedral Square
Old taxi.

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana January 13th 2019

Cuba was the most eagerly awaited port of our December cruise. This tiny island has held such a big role on the world stage for most of our lives. From Batista to Castro to the Bay of Pigs to the Soviet Blockade and Missile Crisis to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba has dominated headlines. Once a notorious gambling mecca and mobster hangout ruled by an infamous dictator, only to be replaced by another strongman and it became a hardline Communist country that endured decades of embargos, travel restrictions and isolation. In the 19th century, Havana was one of the wealthiest business centers in the Americas. Now it is a rather impoverished country making its way into the 21stcentury. As Castro once said, "A revolution is not a bed of roses." Since some of sanctions have been lifted, cruise ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana October 14th 2018

The day after Belize we arrived in Cozumel, a small holiday resort on an island off the Mexican Yucatan coast. The plan was to hire a taxi to take us to the nearby Mayan ruins, wait for us then bring us back to the ship. However, there were four cruise ships in Cozumel today. It was also another hot and sticky day. We had vison of the ruins being absolutely heaving with impatient tourists, those part of a ships tour and those independent travellers, probably all queuing to buy tickets!! All this, whilst tackling greedy taxi drivers and greedier little biteything bastards that take the piss when feasting on my ankles!! Having been to Cozumel less than ten months earlier we’d seen all there was to see in the town so we just stretched ... read more
Outside our accommo in Havana Centro
Deana, our hostess in Havana Centro
Breakfast in Havana Centro

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana August 17th 2018

We were very excited about our first trip to Havana by ship, and although Havana as it is today is appealing and very interesting to explore on foot, we hoped that at least some vestiges of the city's glamorous past remained, and that overall our visit would be a rewarding learning experience -- we weren't disappointed!! On that first visit in October, 2017, we decided to splurge on a wonderful, but rather expensive excursion --- a Havana city tour in a vintage American car. A good number of like-minded ship passengers, probably many from the U.S.’s “Baby Boom” generation like us, were doing the same. After being transported by bus to a parking lot not far from the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, we found an array of rainbow-colored, vintage cars waiting for us with their drivers/owners ... read more
Jose Marti Memorial - Revolution Square
Camilo Cienfuegos - Revolution Square
Angel Monuments - Cristobal Colon Necropolis

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