|William the Cabbie
|Alberto - maitre d
|Havana tour guides & driver
|Random Havana Resident
|Darren Karen Donovan
Darren and Karen Donovan from Manchester, UK. Well rounded travelers this couple. I met a couple from Halifax, Daphine and her husband. I asked them how the met. On internet they said. The man went to the Philipines to meet someone. They married after 4 months and they have been together for about nine years. She is 33 and he is 70. They look good together. He is a retired plumber and she works part time. He had strong opinion on how to stop the Indigenous youth suicide. She was teasing him quite a bit. We met Alberto from Cuba and a number of patient serving staff at the hotel. We met Maria on the bus and she was from Dominican Republic. we met a very nice couple from Frankfurt at a bus station. I of course was a pest with teasing people at the resort. My antics could have been mistaken for cute about 35 years ago but at my age its old creepy. At the end of it, the trip to Cuba was one of joy, pleasure and appreciation by me. I was so happy Suz and Chloe think about me and are able to spend time with me.
There are similarities all over the place and some little differences you tend to notice. Like some of the hydro poles are made of concrete. The type of trees is different of course, with big cactus trees and many short ones and of course the palm trees. The birds singing beautiful songs, while the vultures look like ravens in the sky. The absence of kid's bikes. It's weird we look at the clothes drying in outside the balcony of apartments and we think it's odd. When in fact its normal. We like to see the same and the different in our travels. But the biggest thing is the people. The trips only mean something when we meet people. A good visit can make the trip that much more special. It's about the relationships.
Suz Chloe Aviree and I went by taxicab to downtown Varadero. William took us in an old vintage American Classic car with a Hyundai engine. It was 20 Cuban pesos one way. He waited two hours for us to walk around and he brought us back to the hotel a 12- or 16-kilometer ride. By the way the Canadian dollar is worth 67 cents on the Cuban peso. We told William were wanting to go Havana. He spoke to a guy at the hotel security and arranged a trip to go to Havana the next morning - 150 pesos. Suz didn't want to take Aviree on a long trip; no car seat and long road trip for a three-year-old. We left Suz and Aviree behind, just Chloe, me and three Cubans; a driver named Enzo, a tour guide named Elvis and a tour guide trainee named Juverre. The tour was very fast. We went to a number of places in Havana. We spent three pesos on a lady wanting her picture taken with a cigar in her mouth. We went to eat at some restaurant outside of the city. Old style restaurant that was a house with tables and chairs in the courtyard. The tour Cubans were going to wait as many of the tour drivers waited outside as tourists ate inside. Weird. Mom always said you don't feed yourself in front of people. We all had a nice meal for $135 Canadian. Lucky for us we had enough cash for the meal. We didn't take a lot of money to Cuba, so the trip and the meal ate most of our tour cash. The chance to sit eat and visit with these cool Cubans was one of the coolest parts of the Havana trip.
Like I said at the start of this blog, everyone should travel. Even if it's close to your home. We can meet people everywhere. All we have to do is say "hello" and start from there.