|For the past 55 years locals have been creating custom parts to keep their vintage cars on the road.|
|Off we go in a Coco Taxi - other than walking this was our favorite way get around in Havana.|
On our last day in Havana, Mari, one of the favorite Casa Ortega drivers took us to the Viazul bus station to buy tickets to Cardenas, our next destination city. It is about a four hour trip east of Havana near the famous Varadero beaches. He waited while we stood in line (there are always lines in Cuba) to purchase tickets. We were nervous about what the Cuban version of a luxury bus might be, but they were fine. We were all set to leave early the next morning.
|Surprisingly nice buses get you quickly and affordably around the island.|
Booking Airbnbs in Cuba was an adventure as I explained in the previous blog. I am sure it will get easier as the process improves and the Internet becomes more widely available. But we were early adopters so communication including cell phone usage was off the table. Because there isn’t any Internet, and as near as we could tell, we wouldn’t be able to get SIM cards for our phones like we’ve done it other countries, we couldn’t communicate easily with our hosts or anyone else on planet earth.
|Laundry day across the street from our Airbnb in Cardenas|
The hosts arrived shortly thereafter and they were a spirited pair in their late 50s. Susan is Canadian and just recently settled in Cardenas with her Cuban husband Orlando. He was great fun - a former boxer who spoke a fair amount of English and loves to cook. A bonus for us. They are new to Airbnb and did their very best to make our stay special. Here's the link: https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/31245971
|Special treatment for Valentine's Day!|
|I am captivated by wrought iron in any form! Here's a dazzling door on an otherwise bleak street.|
For one thing, two blocks from our Airbnb a huge, dilapidated rum factory, that actually looked abandoned, wafted a sweet, “intoxicating” perfume over the neighborhood most afternoons.
|Havana Club rum was cheap and plentiful. Unlike a lot of other sustanance!|
|A horse named Uber!|
|The Sunday market was a parking lot full of trucks with goods sold from the back|
|Beer on tap at your table. A popular way to spend an afternoon.|
|Beer, rum and thankfully, ice cream could always be found.|
|A mural in Trinidad that I captured just as a woman in tears walked by.|
|Michael was anamoured with our taxi. Eventually he had to give it back.|
|Our lovely, very tiny host Kiwi and her mother.|
|Just a few of the many, many chickens that ruled the roost at Casa Jardin.|
Kiwi jumped into action and called our taxi driver who was back in Trinidad. He rushed to the bus station and luckily, our bus was still there. He spoke to the driver and they searched the bus but couldn't find the Kindle. Kiwi said unfortunately in Cuba, if someone had found it - even if they weren't sure what it was, they would try to sell it for a few pesos. We decided not to give up and took so Kiwi called the driver and back and we raced into the city again to look for ourselves. It was a tense ride - Michael was as near to tears as I've seen him on the whole trip - especially since he was two-thirds through a great book and there would be no way to replace a Kindle until we were back in the states two weeks later.
|Losing your Kindle was almost as bad as losing your phone, wallet or passport!|
|This was the part of the beach we could walk to from our Airbnb.|
|This was the part of the beach you could stretch out on just a short cab ride away.|
|Aarne (with two A's) and Anita, our delightful Airbnb mates.|
|This was one big delicious fish! It tasted better than it looks.|
|Our stay with this family and with our new friends was a highlight of our Cuban adventure.|
|My new little friend Zyolita - a big fan of Disney Princesses!|
|Zyolita and her mother and I admiring her painting skills.|
|Everywhere I looked in Trinidad there was another stunning photo to be taken.|
Thanks for following along,
Debbie and Michael Campbell
The Senior Nomads