This was my first trip to this charismatic and beautiful island. Compelled to explore ‘before it all changes’, but soon realising that the country’s charm and lure will not simply vanish over-night (thankfully!). While so many things really do make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the 1950s (1850s when it comes to Trinidad!), a cultural shift is definitely in progress and it's an exciting time to be in Cuba.
I was keenly anticipating impressive old American cars, matured multi-coloured building facades, cigars and rum. But it’s not until you are actually there do you really feel the island’s rumba heartbeat, and absorb its peoples’ pride and very evident sense of community.
You also can’t help but be compelled to learn more about it’s history over the last century; especially with revolutionary icons such as Martí, Fidel and Che so visibly revered. In Hababa Vieja, Hemingway seems to be next on the list of national heroes, with seemingly every bar enticing travellers with the claim that he used to drink his mojitos or daiquiris there!
Things we’ll remember:
The energy, music and history of Old Havana
Long cross-country Taxi Colectivo rides (6-8 people + bags stuffed into a well aged American classic)
The vivid colours, timeworn lifestyle and tropical backdrop of Spanish colonial Trinidad.
Scuba Diving in the beautiful blue waters near Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs)
Our Cuban hosts' extra warm & helpful hospitality (and humouring my made-up Spanish)