Hi all. cant believe this seems to be working. I am in a hotel overlooking the seas in Havana. Its ferociously hot and I have had a styomach problem already. I sorted it out immediately ( I do learn eventually) . The flight to Mexico was over 10 hours and the queue to get out of the airport took nearly 3 hours. It was 4 am in my clock but I managed to drag my rucksack ( still not sure it was the right thing to buy) and got a taxi to the hotel which I had booked throught Trail Finders 5 months ago. They had no record of the booking. If I could have pressed a button and gone straight home to my own bed I would have.
Things looked much more cheerful the next day and I book a trip to the Mexican pyramids. Fantastic. 2 of them within walking distance of each other with amazing edifices lining the boulevard. They looked like altars so i didnt think about them too much. Same time as Egyptian ones and the orientation of one is the same as Cheops.
Eoin arrived that night and with the help of his lap top I found out the the problem started in Ireland. Was sorted EVENTUALLY and off we went to the airport again. The gate was changed 4 times so the whole queue including the pilot and cabin crew took off for the new one. They were 15 minutes apart but nobody complained. Got my exercise for that day. Would you believe the plane left on time.
We arrived in our hotel in Havana in the night and it was scary. The whole area was dark and there was no traffic so Eoin and I walked in the middle of the street to feel safe. I seriously felt like I was taking part in "Blade Runner." We went to meet people we had met on the plane who were staying in a luxury ghotel in the modern part of Havana. It was an interesting night as he was a pilot on Virgin Airlines and flew all around Australia and she was a journalist and radio broadcaster in Geelong in Australia. But of course we still ha dto face the dark streets. The devastation in the old part of Havana has to be seen to be believed. The view from our bedroom window looks like we are in ancient rome after it had been vandalised by the Goths. There are piles of rubble everywhere and some scaffolding but not enough to keep the buildings upright. The buildings are on a really grand acale . It must have been some city in its heyday. Of course it sounds and looks completely Spanish. The main square and the Art gallery are much more impressive than Valencia.
There is no toilet paper or soap even in the bers hotels so now I am learning how to pack my day bag. Soap, toilet paper, torch, copy of my passport. etc.
Yesterday we were stopped by a man who asked us where we were from He then went on to say he is going to Ireland next week. He is a Cuban musician who plays in the Buena Vista Social club. If this is true he is very lucky as nobody is allowed to leave even though there are murals everywhere saying We are working to make a better future for you. The young people dont seem to believe it. The musician invited us to the club last night byt i did not feel up to it, For the salsa dancers the name of his group is Combinacion Havana They aill be playingh in Dublin 4 th July but he does not know where. He says you can look it up on line. If any of you get to the concert say hello from Eoin and me. His wife teaches Salsa dancing here.
despite all this the people are beautiful asp the girls and the old Cadillac cars are used as taxis and are amazing.
Off for a 2 weeek tour of the island tomorrow.
Bye the way I ended up buying 20 expensive Cuban cigars from the musician!!!! so get your orders in now.