We wanted to visit Cuba since our travels in Central America during the 1980s. In May 2015, we took six weeks off work and followed the dream.
We flew from Sydney to Mexico City and then on to Havana. During our travels in Cuba we stopped for at least one night in eight different locations. These were (in the order we visited them) Havana, Las Terrazas, Baracoa, Santiago de Cuba, Santo Domingo, Trinidad, Playa Girón, and Viñales.
We avoided the tourist resorts on the north coast, and travelled around the country mainly by bus. Our itinerary included an internal flight early in the journey from Havana to Baracoa. Thus most of our journey was an overland road trip along the southern coast of Cuba from Baracoa in the East to Viñales in the West.
During the trip we met up with our daughter, Clare, who had been on exchange at the University of Miami in the USA, and she travelled with us from Havana to Santiago de Cuba.
Mostly we stayed in casas particulares, that is, private rooms that are rented to travellers by Cuban citizens. The network of casas makes it possible to meet Cuban people in a way that is often difficult for tourists. It helps if you speak some Spanish, as we do.
We usually keep a blog whilst travelling. This was not possible in Cuba because access to the internet in Cuba is expensive, scarce, and often unreliable. So we kept a travel diary in a small notebook, which we have transcribed and uploaded to our blog. Thus the entries have been published exactly eight months after they were first written. We hope our account will be informative to other travellers who are considering a trip to Cuba, particularly other Australians who, like us, find the information in the guidebooks of limited use.
Cuba is a fascinating country whose modern history is as old as the New World itself. This history includes a socialist revolution which makes Cuba a particularly attractive destination for us, since our country is currently in the grip of a nasty form of neo-liberalism. So as well as finding beautiful beaches and rainforests, and awesome food and music, and joyous dancing, we experienced a society whose political life and history has much to teach us all.