Cuba Libre

So for a variety of reasons, I’m in Miami airport on the way home before I can catch some internet to write again. It’s been an incredible trip and today, the last day, with an inordinate amount of travel and waiting, is obviously the worst.

First things first, I dropped my phone in the sea. I’ll be honest, I wish I hadn’t. I wasn’t really prepared technologically despite having my IPad – hadn’t set up ICloud properly, hadn’t setup my IPad with the same Apps and access to bank etc. Won’t make that mistake again. Photos gone as well.

That said, it could never spoil what’s been an unforgettable sail around The Bahamas and Cuba with stops in Nassau, Bimini, Varadero and finally Havana. Our beautiful Lagoon 500 catamaran coped with everything the seas threw at it, El Capitan stayed on top of the weather / winds to get us safely to each port, and in between, we partied hard.

We couldn’t work out whether the warm damp weather was unseasonal or not, but it was what it was and bothered neither us nor the persistent mosquitos. After an exhilarating overnight sail from Bimini (Bahamas) to Varadero (Cuba) we arrived in an enormous, but largely empty marina. Largely empty thanks to the Trump effect, according to locals – this vast and modern development could have docked 500 boats I reckon, with restaurants and bars to match. There were around a dozen.

We took an exquisitely dated taxi into town in the evening to experience some local hospitality, dance, and music. Thankfully it didn’t have to break suddenly – I’m not sure it was capable. Cuba was as inexpensive as The Bahamas was the reverse. Not short in quality though. Good food and wine, wonderfully open and friendly people, desperately keen to show their country off to more visitors.

Havana – I cant remember the last city I visited with no McDonalds, no Starbucks, no Apple Store. This place just oozed it’s history, it’s people, it’s culture. Magically dated in its looks, but perfectly capable of delivering a unique and fresh experience for the traveler.

I’m not sure what its future holds, no doubt it strives to catch up to the modernity of many other cities. I hope it develops carefully and if it can somehow retain its identity undiluted, I’ll be back for sure. Never felt unsafe or bored. Or that I wasn’t welcome in this communist state. And the rum…….

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