Friday, 17 January 2014

Greetings from Cuba


Where have I been all this time? Having a great time, of course - but one of Cuba's quirks is her internet access (you could make a cup of tea in the time it takes to load a page) and reluctance to let me into blogger to tell you all about it. So please, bear with me, I'll blog when I can.

I can barely give you a taster of the complexities of Cuba in this post - Havana with her music and contradictions. The lovely old city with its lanes and plazas and restored buildings; within a stone's throw walls are crumbling and roads filled with potholes. There are goodies for tourists, but local shops almost empty. Music thrums from every corner, setting toes tapping - it till take time for me to see how much that is simply for the tourists' benefit.

I headed west from Havana, a long bus trip to Camaguey - arriving at midnight (breaking all my own rules about safe travel) but was taken to a lovely casa and everything looked brighter in the morning. I loved Camaguey, with its winding streets designed to deter pirates (I spent most of my time lost!). And now I'm wending my way westward, with a few days in Sancti Spiritus - not on all the tour group itineraries but a lovely town celebrating 500 years of something with music and dancing in the main plaza. Here was Cuba at her most flamboyant and wonderful!

Next stop - the plan is to go to Santa Clara. But this is Cuba and I'm learning that anything can happen. So it's quite possible that next time I have access to a working internet connection I'll be in Santiago.


  1. I love the way you say, 'celebrating something'. I suppose it doesn't matter what they're celebrating. It all sounds very welcoming, colourful and fun. Can't wait to hear more. Take care!

  2. A place of contrasts, Jo, but with so much music, there must be some compensations. Enjoy it. I hope the Cubans are good to you!

  3. It sounds wonderful already Jo apart from no Internet and that must be frustrating but if that's the worst complaint then it's all good really. Enjoy!

  4. I'm pleased you're having a lovely time in my country of birth. Just a small detail: you headed east, not west, when you went to Camagüey. However, coming from Havana as I do and having family in Camagüey as I also do I strongly advise not to ever call Camagüeyaos "Easterners" or "Orientales". There's a lot of prejudice against people who live in Eastern Cuba and these prejudices stem mainly from us, Habaneros. Sadly I too fell prey to them when I was younger but I managed to grow out of them. Well, almost, until baseball comes into the picture! :-)

    Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

    Greetings from London.

    1. Thanks for this - and for correcting my rubbish geography. Can do no more than scratch the surface of Cuba in the time I'm here, but will be check out my thoughts with you when I get back.

  5. Thank you for the update Jo. I was wondering how you had been getting along but not doing much on blogger at present. I made time to look today, though. It all sounds fascinating and good material for your next book!