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Published: February 20th 2019
I'm having a bit of a final catch up of our last few days in Cuba now that we're back home and have some internet. It's been a nice break from 'The outside world'.....but quite annoying not being able to get any information or check anything!
Just an overnight stay in Santa Clara to break the journey back to Havana. known now mostly for the large monument to Che Guevara as it was here that he blew up the train carrying all the weapons and reinforcements for Batista's forces in the city.
The town was really buzzing in the evening as it was Valentine's day, lots of people carrying one flower...no large over the top bouquets here!
Our final few days are back nearer Havana on the coast for a few days of R&R. Luckily the place we are staying at has a pool as unfortunately the beach is covered in what we at first took to be blown up condoms .....then we realised they were in fact man o war jelly fish..
Did we enjoy our trip ? Yes ...Did we love Cuba.....?
The people are lovely..The Politics?....just don't
get why they are so keen to keep things as they are.... I don't think I have been anywhere that I have been approached by so many people begging for money because they are hungry, if not for money it was creams or perfume or the kids asking for sweets. You would go into a supermarket and they would be mostly quite large shops and all they had on the shelves was shelf after shelf of tinned tomatoes and bottles of rum. Hardly anything is imported and so it's not unusual for there to be no bread as they don't have any flour.
Anything that they produce, such as Coffee or sugar, the Gov't takes 90 % so it's not unusual to see disused farms as the farmer's have stopped working them.
It's not a third world country but felt like it in some places. The litter is a real problem but they don't help themselves. We went to the Fort in Havana and they just happened to be holding a 'Book Fiesta' this involved what felt like 100s of thousands of families out for the day. There were fairground rides and withing the wall of the fort
lots of stands selling exercise books and the sort of tat that we can get in the £ shops but people were falling over them selves to buy as they are so hard to get. Of course there were also lots of stands selling drinks and food and people sitting on the grass eating said food ......and when they had finished they just left these boxes of chicken bones and rice and corn on the cob and drinks cans and bottles on the grass and everyone was walking all over this left over food ....but there were bins!!! We found quite a few that were actually empty...
The food was actually better than I was expecting. Lots of fruit and fruit juices, fabulous sea food and great Pork .....just quite plain! But the cocktails were great and the same price as a can of beer!
Everyone thinks of the large American cars as an iconic feature but I think for me it has to be all the horse drawn vehicles, which were everywhere. The main Highway was 3 lanes wide on both sides with hardly any traffic....plenty of pot holes though and horse drawn vehicles and people crossing
and walking alongside... They obviously had the money at one time to build these roads but not to repair them now.
So...loved the Caribbean Spanish vibe and culture and it's a fascinating place....but ..
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