Thursday, April 3, 2008

Hola from Habana

We arrived safely after a long fairly uneventful trip. After trying to negotiate a lift on one of the tourist buses we gave up and jumped on a local bus that pulled up at Varadero airport about 10 minutes after we got outside. The two hour drive was fine with beautiful coastline with crystal clear water to look at. Brendan became increasingly pale and then threw up all over all three of us and didn't look too good on another bus we took so we've come to the conclusion he gets bus sick. After getting off the bus and working out the map we realised we only had a 5 minute walk to our Casa. The casa was pleasant and the family were very friendly and played along as we tried out some phrases from the phrasebook. Paddy appeared in our room at 9 am the next day and then Jo and Jo arrived that afternoon. Highlights in Habana included walking round the old colonial part of town and stopping in various plazas, trying some street food that Paddy bought with the non convertible currency (his Spanish is a lot better than ours), the Museo de la Revolucion, swimming at a hotel pool, walking along the Malecon (seafront), Plaza de la Revolution with its big monumant and Che wall art, trying to imagine 1.2 million people in that square at a political rally. WOW. HAd a couple of good dinners but we are glad we brought the dried fruit as the sum total of available dishes is basically beans, rice, fried chicken and spaghetti. Although the bananas are delicious but too many may not be a good idea.
We are now in Vinales, about 3 hours west of Habana. Caught a bus yesterday morning and stayed at a campismo last night. It was in a hut but basically camping. No water, frogs, geckos and ants in the room but the surroundings were incredible. Beautiful limestone scenery. Went for a walk yesterday and asked a farmer to show us to a cave where we walked in 300m and then Steve swam in the underground pool.
Enough for now, we are heading out for tea. We'll write more later but just wanted to check in.