Blogs from Cuba, Central America Caribbean - page 60


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

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana January 19th 2008

Cuba... Everyday I feel differently about her. She is a land of such extremities and contrast, of that I am sure, but at the same time I do not feel I can say with any conviction or authority that she is one way or the other, or even say simply from my heart what my feelings are towards her, as they come and go like ebb and flow. Unfortunately, the travelblog website is blocked in Cuba and I have been dependent on getting an email off to Australia for someone to post my blogs there. I have wanted to document my thoughts more, but it has been difficult to note down what I have felt and seen in the short time slots I have had when I did finally find a tediously slow internet connection in ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana January 18th 2008

Mann, wie hatte ich mich auf Kuba gefreut. Ich war noch nie in der Karibik. Und bei Fidels sozialistisch angehauchten Politsystem dachte ich, dass ein paar Kindheitserinnerungen wieder wach werden. Kuba, das Land, das schon seit ueber 50 Jahren immer noch mitten in der Revolution steckt; wenn man den ganzen Propagandaschildern Glauben schenkt. Kuba, das immer noch im Klassenkampf steckt und einen Ché Guevara derart omnipräsent praesentiert, dass man meint er biegt gleich um die Ecke und kaempft weiter. Gegen die boesen Kapitalisten!. Doch kommt diese seit ewig andauerende Revolution, das politische System den Menschen tatsaechlich zur Gute? Kann man mit 10 US$ im Monat (kubanisches Durchschnittsgehalt) ueberleben? Kann man in Haeuser leben, die fast zusammen brechen? Wie kann ein Staat gleichzeitig seine eigenen Menschen in erbaermlich zerrotteten Haeusern hausen lassen,... read more
El Malécon
Hasta la victória! Siempre!
Welcome to Cuba!

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana January 12th 2008

Havana - Vinales - Cienfuegos - Trinidad - Playa Ancon - La Habana 'Fidel is bad, everything is bad; the shelves in this shop are empty. We have nothing, no food, no money' The elderly man who is telling me this points his walking cane at a middle aged European tourist & the young Cuban woman at his side. He directs some spit at her feet & declares with disgust that she is a prostitute. He doesn't hate her, rather the system that has led to her fate. A few hours later we'll have left Cuba; it's taken until now to find someone willing to tell us how much they despise the situation that Cubans have lived with for so long. Until now the romantic notion of this revolutionary anti American tropical island is all we ... read more
Coco Taxi
Capitolio Nacional

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Santiago de Cuba January 11th 2008

So, on the eve of the 25th, when u folks in the UK were already asleep with bellies full of turkey and mince pies, we (Patricia, Corinna and I) set off on our adventure eastwards. We arrived in Camagüey rather disorientated after the 7 hr bus journey and went to the casa particular we had reserved. As soon as we got there we got our introduction to the way some “business” people try to squeeze every possible cent out of the tourists here. Unfortunately this became a theme for the early part of the trip.. we may be experienced at daily life in La Habana but not at travelling thru Cuba. This particular woman was panicked about letting the 3 of us stay in room (technically illegal here) and started telling us at 2am that she ... read more
in La Sierra Maestra

Central America Caribbean » Cuba January 8th 2008

no title It's been four days and four nights now, and i'm not sure that four days and four nights have ever seemed to take this long. This morning I decided to get out of the hotel for the first time, as my temperature has dropped somewhat and I'm feeling a little better. The porter opened the door, and as soon as the warm air hit me, I thought I was going to faint. There's such a feeling of frustration - its hard to describe. I've been listening to Habana for four days out of my window now and I thought i'd be better by now. Yet here I am, back in the lobby, confined by my own body to the sterility of this hotel. The few moments I got outside were great. I wanted to ... read more

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