Just a little about Cuban life – a socialist country

Cuban Life - cuban pesosCuban life is delightfully complex. Money in Cuba is more confusing than anywhere I’ve ever been as they operate two currencies at the same time, Cuban Pesos (CUP) and Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC).  The CUC is what most tourists use and are valued at 24 times the value of the CUP, though tourists can use CUPs and Cubans can use CUCs…. confused yet?  The Cubans use CUPs as their currency to buy food and shop at the government-run stores, which offer a very limited range of products. I believe that the dual currency system is a hangover from the days when Continue reading

It’s all about the Cuban Music – Son Cubano and Havana Club

Cuban music and danceA number of years ago, Anne and I took salsa lessons and had our first taste of Cuban music. Whilst we enjoyed ourselves, we never really mastered the art. It’s like anything…..if you want to be good at it, you need to practice. Sadly, we didn’t. Now, after watching the Cubans on the dance floor and in the streets, I wish we had kept it up. It seems that they are born with rhythm running through their veins (as well as their hips and backsides). For them, when hearing any “son” style music, and, no matter what time of the day or night, they are soon Continue reading

Staying in Cuban “casa particulares”. At home in Cuba.

P1130546 (2)The most enjoyable aspect of travelling in Cuba is the opportunity to engage with the friendly, humorous and gregarious Cubans. During our fifteen day tour of Cuba we stayed predominantly in “casa particulares”, which simply means private houses and this maximised our opportunity to meet Cubans.

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The family live in the house however they have rooms that are let out to tourists.  At any location our group of 9 will be split over a number of casas within the same area, with one house acting as the main house where we reconnect. Most of the houses probably started as a one room building and over the years rooms have been added as needed. Continue reading

Moving through Cuba

Moving through Cuba is a travellers delight. In Cuba the humble horse and cart are not relics from the past, they are part of the daily urban and rural transport system.

Moving through Cuba

Saddled and bare backed cowboys, some with family groups straggled along the horse, ride through the town, hooves clattering on the cobble-stoned streets. In Trinidad, cowboys congregated to Continue reading

Cuba’s Classic Cars – The Yank Tank

When I first thought of traveling to Cuba, like most other males born in the 1950’s, my initial vision was of those classic old American cars gliding down the boulevards of Havana.Cuba's Classic Cars After only a few days of being here, I can tell you that there is a lot more to Cuba than those American cars, but Cuba’s Classic cars are a great place to start. According to Wikipedia, “Yank tank or máquina” are the words used locally to describe the many classic cars present in Cuba, with an estimated 60,000 of them still driving the roads today. I did confirm Continue reading