27.2.14

Cuba: days 7 and 8 - back to Havana

American car

Day 7: Wednesday 19 February 2014
After a buffet breakfast at the Hotel Hanabanilla it was all in the coach for the long drive to Santa Clara and the Che Guevara Mausoleum. This huge monument is placed in a big plaza; photography wasn't allowed inside the museum, but we saw Che's Zenit camera, dental equipment and all kinds of other stuff. No gift shop, but i bought a postcard in the bookshop. Then we were allowed to snap away at the outside.

Che

Onwards to Havana, passing a dead steam loco by the side of the road. The Cuban houses are mainly small cubes, quite Modernist in appearance, made out of breeze blocks, sometimes rendered and painted, other times not. No windows, just slats. I was amazed how many horses were still used, and there are chickens everywhere. Lots of improvisation too when it came to water towers. Shame they can't all have solar panels! We had lunch (a half buffet for me - but there was meat in the bean stew so just salad) at Pio Cua where we had started our epic journey.

Loco graveyard

Back in the Capital, we stopped at El Capitolio to stretch our legs and were immediately besieged by hustlers, one toothless old lady taking a shine to the pen in my top pocket! Nigel from the Wirral always said I carried too many pens, slowed me down! After a walk by a big tree with Anne and Mick I spotted the loco graveyard and quickly took some photos - just as well, because we didn't return there the next day as promised by Tony.

Che

We then drove to a huge car park with star-shaped monument one end, Che and Fidel murals and loads of American cars and yellow Coco cabs. It was then back to the Hotel Occidental Miramar, where we stayed the first night. For our last night in Cuba we were offered the Tropicana show at 95 cuc or the Buena Vista Social Club at 30 cuc - no contest, although the main Buena Vista club was fully booked, so we got the Reserves at the Guajirito. After much negotiating, me, David and Di and Nigel got an American car into town (a Chevvy Belaire '53 maybe?).

Taxi to Guajirito

The food at the Guajirito was really very good (most meals worked out at 20 cuc), the best cooked fish all week, and we got three free drinks with our ticket to see the band. It was a backing band of youngsters, with the old boys and girls taking a turn out front. Must see the film! Then it was another American car with big fins back to the hotel.

Taxi back to hotel

Once again, more photos on Flickr.

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