Blogs from Cuba, Central America Caribbean - page 56


Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste February 8th 2008

Viva Cuba! Our general observations... Cuba is a really interesting place. It is still very communist - everyone seems to have a similar standard of living, so there are no flash houses and no slums... but much of the housing is fairly crowded and dilapidated. In the newer suburbs all the apartment towers appear identical. The cars are cool. Typically, people talk about how there are heaps of old American cars, but we found that most of the cars are Ladas... Go the Soviets!! The classic American cars mostly sounded like tractors, so I think the original engines (and a lot of the original charm) is long gone. Havana has a really cool local vibe - unlike other cities, the whole city is lived in, including the old, touristy parts of the city. Also, it seems ... read more
Jane and Sam in Varadero
Watersports in Varadero

Random coincidence - Corinna (my flatmate in Centro Habana) and I share the same birthday. We chose to spend it, together with 2 other German friends (Tomas and Katerina) on la Isla de la Joventud (the isle of youth). Perhaps ironic now we r starting to feel old, or perhaps a hope that bathing in its sweet waters would bring us the secret of eternal youth! Compared to past experiences with the Cuban travel system, the journey was smooth, easy and cheap as we were able to take advantage of our Cuban student/residence carnets. We got there by ASTRO and then the high tech catamaran. Life in la Isla is basicly the capital, Nueva Gerona and most of the rest of it is agriculture (sugar cane or citrus plantations) or protected nature reserve and military zone ... read more
yes, its real
fishing in paradise
Cuba, i love u!

Central America Caribbean » Cuba February 4th 2008

Habana. Cuba. The cusp of my 8 months of summer, spanning from the end of January until the end of the English cricket season, a month or so after I return home. Arriving at the airport, the lady at the Bureau de Change takes some gentle persuasion that I am who three forms of ID prove I am, and I am finally allowed to change some money - getting my hands on the Convertible Peso (CUC) which are what Johnny Foreigner is supposed to be using when he visits Cuba. My first outlay is for my taxi to my private accomodation, in the bustling streets of Habana Vieja. The ride in the taxi is an eye-opener, the country is undoubtedly quite poor as a result of various factors - including the US embargo - but the ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana February 1st 2008

WELCOME TO THE HOTEL INGLATERA….such a lovely place….such a lovely face It’s a wonder all the women aren’t pregnant and all the men asleep. Cuba runs on sex, fuelled by rum, coffee and tobacco, supported by the familiar background soundtrack, it’s hot, and wet, fecund. They have the best of everything. Travelling thru the city and countryside you still get an endless barrage of patriotic reminders of the revolutionary struggle, now nearly 50 years on! Libertad, Liberty, is a consistent theme, but thi... read more
Tash and me
at the bus stop
Laydes y yo

Central America Caribbean » Cuba January 29th 2008

Met our good friends Tom and Ruth from Kaslo and Brono and Betty from Gibsons in Havana and travelled with them to Cienfuego anhd Trinidad. ... read more
Typical crumbling Havana
Cuba 071
Old gems everywhere

Central America Caribbean » Cuba January 26th 2008

Cuba is almost too much to take in - food for the senses! For starters, the streets are lined with crumbling, colourful buildings and elderly Cuban men and women really do smoke cigars in windows and doorways. Add to that, curvaceous women in headscarves and hair in rollers strolling down the street, whilst men wash or repair shiny vintage cars. It´s like one big fiesta - music plays, people call out to friends, children play in the streets, people look out their windows, watching the world go by. Like Carrie Bradshaw wandering the streets of Paris (but somewhat less stylish), I find myself strolling Habana´s colourful backstreets talking to the locals, laughing at the wolfwhistles (the men here are harmless, but relentless) and snapping pictures. Research for my spontaneous week in Cuba begins at Cancun Airport. ... read more
Habana City
Neighbourhood Vintage Car, Consulado, Habana
The ultimate dance-off

Central America Caribbean » Cuba January 22nd 2008

We have left Cuba now and are in a very different, yet geographically close, part of the world: Mexico (more on that later). Although we have departed and although I sat at the La Habana airport with little anxiety about leaving or desire to stay, now that we have departed, my mind is still filled with the ideas and realities about Cuba. I realised that to travel a country like Cuba, you nearly have to remove yourself from the experiences so that you do not get fed up and bitter with the situations and the often ridiculousness of what you have to go through to get from A to B. If you can distance yourself and see the whole experience more as a social study or a learning trip, then you can think and digest things ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Baracoa January 22nd 2008

Aventuras en el Oriente Part 2: Baracoa We arrived to Baracoa by a combination two of my favourite modes of transport in Cuba: camión(truck) and luck. The crazy evangelist Jorge took us to the truck station and busybodied us on to the right one, waving us goodbye with a cry of “que Dios les acompañe!” (may God be with u) and a gesture of praying hands toward the sky….! Another of his classic moments. The truck to Guantanamo, (yes, where the US nanal base is, tho its apparently so hidden away that the telescope tourist trap isn’t really worth it) was 5hrs of chilly early morning-squeezedinsoyourarsewillachetomorrow-dust-strewn-bumpiness. Like the legendary chicken buses in Honduras, it’s one of those exhausting and uncomfortable but also unforgettable travel experiences, when u r suddenly in such intimate proximity and comradeship with ... read more
chicas on the beach
resting en route to boca de yurumi
man and horse crossing river

Central America Caribbean » Cuba January 20th 2008

Cuba - 29 December 2007 to 20 January 2008 For the Cuban part of our journey, we joined the Southern Cross Work and Study Brigade, which is a group formed of Australians and New Zealanders that goes to Cuba each January. This year there were forty nine of us in an excellent group that made the whole time really fun. We also had Cubans attached to the group for the stay, and Chela made good friends with Isabel, whose employment title was ´Specialist in Solidarity´. Certainly not a title one would find in Australia! It was a bit strange for both of us to be part of a group after all our independent travel, but we soon got the hang of it. The group stayed in basic dormitory style eight-bed-per-room accomodation with cold showers but it ... read more
Chela Coming Third
Water Splashing on the Malecon
Chela and Matthew with Machetes

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales January 19th 2008

On the Western side of the island, a few hours car trip from the capital, La Habana, we found a sleepy little town of two streets and mountain scenery. As you drive through it, you cannot help but wonder why the Lonely Planet trumpets it up so much; there's really not much there. Horse-and-carts, pigs, young and old Cubans sitting on verandahs watching the world pass or busying themselves with one project or another. As usual, we have to drive slowly through the township as there are people and animals and obstacles all over the road; no one is in any hurry to move out of the way. The main street is lined with little ageing houses, crooked fences and cracked sidewalks. Most residences in the town of Vinales are casas particulares, and they advertise their ... read more

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