It is now unbelievably four years since a wonderful tour of Cuba that I did with Mrs Wilbur (she had a milestone birthday whilst there) and our good friend and my regular travel buddy Hamish.
Things seemed to be changing in 2017.
Barack Obama had forged new relations between the traditional adversaries. Cruise ships from Florida had already paid some visits, the big hotel chains were circling and it appeared only a matter of time before investment dollars and US tourists poured in.
The Trump Administration soon put a stop to that of course and unless you are a voluntary resident of Guantanamo Bay you will still not see a Starbucks or a McDonald’s in Cuba.
As you will soon become very aware, I had a fabulous trip to the largest island in the Caribbean. We spent a few days independently and then joined up with G Adventures for a two week tour of much of the country.
A quick shout out to our most wonderful guide Pedro, an English & History teacher turned tour leader, who went out of his way to look after us all and wow us with his encyclopaedic knowledge of his fascinating nation.
A further shout goes to Casavana, our initial accommodation before we joined the tour in Havana.
The casa situated in the Vedado district of the capital was brilliantly located close to the iconic Malecon (waterfront) and in Jameel we had a most welcoming and informative host. You do not get top billing in Lonely Planet & Trip Advisor by chance.
Our welcome mojitos on the balcony overlooking the sultry Caribbean will live long in the memory.
Now to our trip and the point of this post.
We crammed in a whole host of great experiences in visiting Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Baracoa, Trinidad de Cuba, Camaguey, Cienfeugos, Bayamo & Santa Clara, so much adventure that it would be impossible to recount them all in an article or two. So guess what?
You are going to be treated (I hope) to a whole series of them!
These will cover the likes of:
Road transport of Cuba – from classic American cars to goat drawn carriages
The Revolution – from the disastrous beginnings to triumph against the odds
Fidel Castro – from being condemned to execution in 1953 to leader of his nation for almost 50 years
Che Guevara – from asthmatic doctor to instantly recognisable icon
Birds of Cuba – from the diminutive humming bird to pelicans & vultures
Music & Dance of Cuba – Salsa, Jazz, Son and Buena Vista Social Club
Cemeteries of Cuba – the final resting places of Fidel, Che, Jose Marti & Campay Segundo
Trains of Cuba – naturally deserving of their own article!
People of Cuba – from adorable school kids to expressions that tell a million stories
Colours of Cuba – vibrancy at every turn
Industries of Cuba – sugar cane, cigars, rum and cocoa
Accommodation of Cuba – from the humble casa to mafia palaces
Cuban Fortifications – defending the prized asset
Cuban Architecture – Crumbling Neoclassical to Splendid Art Deco
Wall Art of Cuba – a very public canvass
Old Town Havana – a capital destination
Statues of Cuba – from Generals to Artists
Cuban Sunsets – from the Atlantic to the Caribbean
Cuban Flora – flower power
Pictures of Cuba – a random set of anything else
Watch this space………