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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Havana, Cuba

Nov 11, 2016 - Our man in Havana, ok, our man and woman in Havana

First impressions The starting point is always based on either preconception or hyped expectation, and in the case of Havana it was the former: a teeming steaming third world city crumbling from lack of investment, minimal traffic mainly comprising 1950 chevvies in garish technicolor belching out clouds of exhuast fumes, and loud street music round every corner. So, half right then. But the charm of the many often tree-lined squares surrounded with colonial stone buildings and churches, the grid of narrow streets shaded by tall tenement...

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Jul 20, 2016 - Culture and History Today

We started the day with a tour of old Havana with Spanish forts and cobblestone streets. Next on the schedule was a visit to the Compas Dance & Music Company, founded in 2004, trains locals to dance and play instruments. The music and dance is a combination of African, Cuban and Spanish influences. The Mafia was very active in Havana from the times of Prohibition in the U.S. until the overthrow of the Batista government in 1959. Much of the activity was centered around the Hotel Nacional (a World Heritage Site) and controlled by Meyer...

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Trip Journal


Cuba Adventure 2016

Apr 29, 2016 - Electricity back to the neighborhood

Electricity Finally Back in My Neighborhood Last night the electricity returned to my neighborhood after 10 days without. What a wonderful evening. Many neighborhoods still lack electricity. Still no new water to the town; we're living from reserves and what tank trucks bring along with bottled water and water from a solar powered treatment plant brought in by the army. My rotary club has been receiving donations of food, water, cushions, tents, etc. We have distributed these to needy families. Thank you so much from those of you and the...

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Trip Journal


Going Down the Road

Apr 22, 2016 - April 21, 2016 Earthquake

APRIL 21 EARTHQUAKE To all my family and many many friends. I am okay. It was a really strong quake and destroyed many homes and condo towers. Several will be condemned. People are living in the streets, parks , schools, churches. Many still require some shade or tent. Fortunately it hasn't rained, yet. Emergency shelters such as tents are needed al along the north coast. Rotary is partnering with the Shelter Box program to send emergency containers. I am working with Rotarians and friends to help how we can. Help is now arriving...

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Going Down the Road

Mar 22, 2016 - Salsa, Cigars & Rum

Nothing beats that feeling of being somewhere so unique that you’re hard pressed to think of any other place it reminds you of whilst, at the same time living up to the expectations you have of seeing classic cars, colonial towns with cobblestone streets, beautiful plazas and locals smoking cigars. On our first night in Cuba we stood on our small balcony and watched the street come alive below, the pavement almost pulsating itself to the sound of salsa and local banter. The neighbors were out gossiping, hawkers were hawking and kids were...

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Mar 6, 2016 - Last of Cuba Trip

This is my last message about my trip across Cuba and back. It is the longest. I made it back to Havana on Friday and continued west to the valley around the town of Viñales, the center of Cuba's world renown tobacco production. It is also surrounded by the most unusual mogotes, or limestone cliffs, and pine tree forests. The town is going through the changes from a quiet collection of wooden houses around the great fields of verdant tobacco plants to the creation of casa particulares, or bed and breakfast establishments. Recent changes in...

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Trip Journal


Going Down the Road

Mar 2, 2016 - Santiaga de Cuba

After leaving Camaguey and spending a couple of nights in Bayamo, the provincial capital where each of Cuba's two revolutions started, I met my goal and arrived in Santiago, Cuban's second largest city and some say the most Caribbean. It is warmer and greener in compared to Havana in the northwest. Another UNESCO World Heritage site like Havana, it has many old, huge, colonial buildings and neighborhoods of lesser apartments and houses. See some photos above. I met a guy Peter, my age from the UK and we decided to travel together for the...

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Going Down the Road

Feb 26, 2016 - Cuba Update

My last morning in Trinidad I saw my first Edsel. Later on the bus for Santa Clara, the third largest city and ground zero as far memorialize get the legacy of Ernesto Che Guevara. The route crossed the island through farms with lots of sugar cane and other crops. Also several railroad lines serving cane harvesting. Eventually, we reached the central highway which spans most of the length of the island. It's two lanes each way, divided by a median with on and off ramps similar to the American interstate. I can only wonder how Cuba, that is...

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Going Down the Road

Feb 22, 2016 - Cuba, Part2

So far I have conversed with many Cubans who express hope and excitement about the pending visit of President Obama. While some of the older people doubt that anything will change in Cuba as a result, younger, post revolution individuals who have no personal experience with former repressive Batista regime, and also have relatives who have traveled and lived in other countries, exude beliefs that there will be great change for the good. Cubans love ice cream. A national chain called Copelia is very popular. It is owned by the government....

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Going Down the Road

Feb 20, 2016 - Cuba

Cuba I landed at Jose Marti airport outside Havana on Valentine's Day. After long lines for immigration (they didn't stamp my passport) and a long wait for my suitcase at the only conveyor belt, I entered Cuba and stood in another line to exchange my Eiros for. Cuban CUCs. I rode into Havana aboard a battered '53 Chevy, modified throughout with home made and black market parts. It had a diesel engine as do most of the American vehicles dating from the late forties to 1959. Found a room in a private house (Casa particular) where friends from...

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Going Down the Road

Feb 1, 2015 - Day at Sea

I put Cuba as the map location only because I know we will be sailing by the island today. No wifi on board, at least not that I'm willing to pay for...$19/day!!! We are planning on a quiet day by the pool, reading, listening to the music and people watching!

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Belize and Cozumel

Jan 26, 2015 - Havana

The work trip from hell. Visa problems on arrival and 2 days to get work permits. Credit card declined, phone refused to work, crap internet connections but cheap cocktails to see us through. Managed to take an open top bus tour (a first for me) on one of the waiting-for-visa days so did manage to get a glimpse of Havana.

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