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  • Day14

    Cuba

    August 19, 2017 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    It was late one last night so I ordered breakfast in our suite and started to pack. Eva was still asleep.

    Our personal assistant Marios knocked on the door with a gift for us...a bottle of Tequila.

    'Erm thanks but no thanks Marios you have it as a present'

    We set off to the airport some 90 minutes away. You know when you get that feeling that you have left something behind or forgot to turn the water off? Nope, Eva was here. What can it be?

    Then it dawned on me that I had left my trousers and shirts still in the wardrobe back at Hard Rock Hotel. I quickly called them to see if they could get another taxi with my clothes on board to follow. it would be too late so hopefully they are en route to meet me in New York. I shall have to use what I have.

    The flight is a short hop to Cuba and we touched down around 16:00. They do not greet you with a smile. In fact they are down right miserable. After clearing immigration and customs which took ages we then queued outside in the humid heat for the currency exchange. This took about half an hour to eventually queue and change my peso's to whatever it is in Cuba.

    We then grab a taxi into Havana. We are staying at the Hotel Saratoga. Not five star but sufficient for the next four days and with a roof top pool. We went up there for a cocktail and found on the map a small restaurant called Lamparilla Tapas & Cervezas. When I say on the map I mean google maps. The only thing is that for google maps to work out needs the internet...obviously really. But in Cuba there is no mobile network just hotspots. We would have to resort to old technology called paper to get around and a thing called a paper map.

    So not in possession of either digital or analogue technology I memorised where it was located. After 10 minutes of walking we seemed to be in 'Dodgy Havana' rather than 'Old Havana'. Although they are fairly similar what gave it away was a man feeding his cockerel on the doorstep to the almost derelict town house, piles of rubbish everywhere and the strange looks that we got as we wandered along. There was nothing for it but to return to the hotel where we could get wifi. So we asked one of the Bike Taxi chaps with gold teeth to take us back. No sooner had he started to pedal he got pulled over by the very aggressive looking police and had his papers checked and was asked to get off the bike. We decided to walk.

    When we got back to the hotel Eva asked, 'Dad are you sure you turned the right way when we set off before?'

    I double checked. No I didn't, we ended up going completely the opposite way. So off we strode again with a not to give up attitude. After 15 minutes we arrived, located down the street Lamparilla, which indecently still looked a bit dodgy to me. However the food was very good and we sat there for a couple of hours before heading in the right direction back to the hotel.
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