My quick 7 day tour of Cuba is now over and I have to say I really enjoyed myself. This trip happened as a consequence of changing my Mexican and Central America tour back two weeks to ensure it was guaranteed to depart. I was also very interested in Cuba after being given a book ‘Children of the Revolution’ when I was in hospital back in 2006.
Once again I travelled with some great people in particular Shane from Ireland and Heidi from Germany. A great aspect of travelling is meeting such great people. The difference this time was I also stayed in the house of locals in both Vinales and Trinidad which gave me an insight into how people really live.
The Cubans have such spirit, particularly at nighttime when the majority go out dancing and singing. The people aren’t rich in material things but the treasure there families and community, I wonder if there is a connection between the two things?As our tour leader Dady said, they are poor but they don’t starve which gives them time to connect without as much worries as people in some other countries. It was also refreshing to hear and the history of Cuba for the locals side and not the Western anti-Communism point of view for once.
Most locals I spoke to want more freedom and they want changes but they aren’t in a hurry and seem to be satisfied with the pace of changes. Dady explained the lack of a rush is due to the conflict Cubans lived with up until the revolution and how they don’t want to experience the fighting again anytime soon. Also the memories of starving pre revolution and all the corruption, drugs, drinking, mafia and gambling are still alive in the grandparents who talk about those days.
The singers and performers are unbelievable, in any other country most of them would be famous or at least making reasonably good money. Cuba has a very low crime rate and almost 100% literacy rate. It’s a remarkable country very different to anything I’ve experienced before. People with an open mind and an adventurous spirit should visit, just bring you salsa dancing shoes!
Day 67 – Havana. Hightlights: Dinner in Cuba
Day 68 – Havana to Vinales. Highlights: Havana Walking Tour, Soroa Orchid Garden Tour, Homestay, Salsa lesson and dancing at a Night Club
Day 69 – Vinales. Highlights: Cuban Farm, Vinales Caves, Dinner at El Paraiso (Ecological Farm)
Day 70 – Vinales to Trinidad. Highlights: Vintage cars, Walking tour of Trinidad, Street Nightclub Dancing
Day 71 – Trinidad. Highlights: Cayo Blanco Island Catamaran Cruise, Snorkelling in the Caribbean, Beach Volleyball, Dinner at Dady’s
Day 72 – Trinidad to Cienfuegos. Highlights: Government Internet Restrictions, Romantic museum, Trinidad Street Market, Palacio del Valle (Cienfuegos), Trishaw ride.
Day 73 – Cienfuegos to Havana. Highlights: Che Guevara mausoleum and memorial, Ice cream at Santa Clara Square, Night club farewell