Blogs from Cuba, Central America Caribbean - page 62


Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana July 18th 2007

Note to self: Don't attempt to extend a tourist visa in Habana. Immigration is a nightmare. After three hours of waiting in a stuffed room with no direction or signs, I decided to sort it out in Santiago de Cuba. My friend from LA arrived at 5pm. We spent the evening drinking mango daiquiri's at El Floridita, another bar made famous by Hemingway. ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Trinidad July 17th 2007

Trinidad, a Gem of Colonial Style Leaving Cienfuegos we travelled across some fairly uninteresting rolling hills for about an hour to Trinidad, where the restaurant supposedly booked for lunch was full to the rafters. We drove out instead to the Valle de los Ingenios, part of the Trinidad World Heritage Site. The landscapes here are big and quite attractive, but there is not a whole lot to see; it was a principal sugar cane production area until the region’s economy took a nose-drive in the second half of the nineteenth century, and the ruins of some forty sugar mills (ingenios) apparently lie buried beneath the vegetation. At an old eighteenth century estate, Manaca Iznaga, developed by a Spanish slave-trader and sporting a 44-meter water tower... read more
Museo Romantico, Plaza Mayor
Fashionistas, Trinidad
Plaza Mayor

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana July 16th 2007

After a big night out, our last night in Rio, and a lot of travel (approx 2-3hr flight to Buenos Aires, 7hr transit at BA Airport, approx 9hr flight to Cuba...) we arrived in Cuba excited about our Caribbean adventures. We were supposed to be heading to Jamaica from Cuba (yeah I know a wacky flight just to get to Jamaica, but worth it all the same). We handed our passports and plane tickets to an Air Cubana (or Cubano) attendant. She asked us to go wait in the lounge and she would be right back with our PASSPORTS etc... yes that's right she had all six of our most important documents (there were 6 of us traveling together, Amy, Guido, Junior, Denise, Aori and me). After a couple of hours we realised it wasn't long ... read more
Ah self portraits... :)
Luxury hotel
Our Taxi

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Cienfuegos July 16th 2007

Cienfuegos We left Havana about 8.30am driving southeast on Cuba’s main arterial road, the Autopista Nacional. This flat, straight six-lane highway was built in the dying days of Soviet aid and much of it is as unfinished today as it was when the Soviets pulled the plug in the late 1980’s. There is hardly a town or even village to be seen, and for the first hundred kilometers hardly any agriculture either - just bushy scrubland. We made a pit stop just before Jaguey Grande to stretch our legs and recharge ourselves on coffee (coffee and mojitos are by far the best fare that Cuba has to offer), and then headed south on a smaller road through Australia (sic), where Castro had his headquarters in a sugar mill when directing the url=http://ww... read more
View from the roof bar of the Union Hotel
Night view over Parque Jose Marti
Palacio de Gobierno

Central America Caribbean » Cuba July 15th 2007

After a 5am pick up from the Plaza Hotel, I was on my way out of Havana and to the island of Cayo Largo. I was checked in and eating breakfast by 10am. I'm here for three days and it's all inclusive -- all food AND cocktails! The beach is beautiful but the water is too warm. It's like a warm bath, so what's the point in swimming? The pool is the same temperature. The hotel reminds me of Dirty Dancing -- there's an 'entertainment team' of twenty-somethings who come out to the pool every few hours and do dances like the Macarena and try to round up tourists for pool volleyball. After a few cocktails I heard "Natalie from Australia, get into the pool". I thought it was the fourth banana daiquiri, but it was ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana July 14th 2007

We left Las Terrazas today but not before a visit to River San Juan -- the most beautiful place ever. It's a river visited by locals for swimming and family picnics. You can buy BBQ'd pigs on the roadside and take them to the river. We arrived back in Havana at 3pm. I was booked to stay at a cheap hotel but when the water still wasn't on after four hours, I booked into the Plaza Hotel. I'm supposed to be at cheap hotel next week but I changed my booking to the Sevilla. It's more expensive but worth every cent. I spent the afternoon in Coppelia Park eating icecream and people watching. I had a near death waxing experience with a Cuban beautician. Never again will I attempt waxing instructions through charades. ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana July 13th 2007

Friday morning, jet lag awoke us atrociously early, but at least it afforded us a leisurely breakfast in the lobby before we left to drive the length of the northern coastline of Havana Vieja and Centro. The 8km Malecón (seawall) built in 1901 by the then American administration takes you past several interesting landmarks of Cuba’s wide-ranging history - from the Spanish era (grandiose), through American (largely utilitarian), British (global-colonial), Mafia (oddly communistic) and Post-Revolutionary (predominantly poor examples of 1970’s architecture - little seems to have been built since then). Along the way we passed the US Special Interests Office set up by Carter in the late 1970’s and the scene of laughably simplistic finger-pointing propaganda billboards from both sides of the ideological divide. Right opposit... read more
Anti-American propoganda
Memorial Jose Marti
Che Guevara mural, Ministry of the Interior

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales July 13th 2007

We're in Pinar del Rio! Today we visited: - Vinales (Valley of Vinales) - Mural de la Prehistoria where an artist has painted an ugly mural on the side of the mountain - Casa del Veguero cigar plantation - Cueva del Indio (Indian cave boat ride) where we sailed through some caves. Our roast pig lunch was the best so far. ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana July 13th 2007

We arrived in Cuba after a short flight in a 'Fokker 100', which Trev assured me was perfectly safe, despite clearly being older than the two of us put together! As we arrived in the terminal, there was a tropical storm, so the taxi ride from the airport to the city was interesting. The roads turned to rivers, it was chaos, but fun at the same time. We were fascinated by all the old american cars, and the number of ladas driving around. We found a hotel to stay in on the internet at the airport, and arrived to a part of town that looked like the back streets of Soho, after WW2. We didn't even have a guidebook to tell us that this was normal, and that most of havana was falling down, so were ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste July 12th 2007

OK we admit it, we are running a bit late with these blogs! All the elements seem to be working against us - bad PC's, bad stomachs and even website failure (which is why our previous blogs are no longer available..). So sorry for that! Bocsi, kicsit el vagyunk maradva a tervtol. A kubai szocializmus peldaja nem volt eleg hatasos!!! Ugy latszik osszefogtak az elemek ellenunk - hibas szamitogepek, durva gyomorproblemak es meg a travelblog website is osszeomlott! (Ezert sajnos a korabbi bejegyzeseink mar nem erhetok el.) Meg jo, hogy nem kezdtuk el Kubat!!!! It seemed to us that time stopped in Cuba in 1959 (the revolution "bought light" into the country). The buildings, the cars, the streets, the technologies and maybe even the people didn't seem to change since that time. Kuba egy idoutazas. Mintha ... read more
Such a nice example - Hat nem gyonyoru?!
Che - A hos
You see, nothing changed! - Mint a regi szep idokben!

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