Wow! Another great holiday that finished way too fast. I really love Cuba and their people. I like to take vacationers away from the resorts and let them see how the Cuba people live. I let them know it is the safest place in the world. The Cubans will want you to come into their homes to eat for a small price, like a lobster dinner would cost $10.00. Some Cubans will let you stay with them for $25.00 a night, just to get out of the comfort zone of the resort. They call it Casa Particular www.casaparticularcuba.org Most of the vacationers that I have met there, that I have taken to Havana or other Cuban towns say that it has been the high light of their holiday.
_ A couple of weeks ago, I had a couple of my American friends meet me in Varadero. They had to go through Toronto to get to Cuba, so I took them to Havana. I told them to bring an overnight bag; they had such a good time that we ended up staying two nights. A week later I had six family members, two other friends meet up with me, and I also took them to Havana. We hired a van and driver for $200.00 for the day. If we stayed the night, I would have had to pay extra for the driver, meaning dinner, a few drinks and their hotel. My granddaughter Teagan even loved Cuba, just watching her give the kids candies we brought down from home was just priceless. The kids all were very appreciative and same with their parents, even some of them took some candies too.
Please trust the Cubans. You can go to any town or city there (Centro park) and someone will always approach you, I would say within ten minutes. You can tell them you don’t need anyone to tour you around or I say let them hang out with you. It will not cost you that much at all and they will love to show you their life style and their city, for only a cost of lunch/dinner and a couple of drinks. In most places, they will take you to their markets where they do not get to many tourists. There you can have dinner and a drink for a buck. Your guide could be either a girl or a guy, trust me it is worth it to see how they live. Most of them are on the black market, so you will get great deals on cigars, food or drivers. Funny thing happened, our driver with the eight of us in the van picked up a cop hitching a ride to a nearby town. Here we are with my black market driver that sells me cigars picking up a cop. After we dropped off the cop, I asked the driver if he knows that he sells rides or cigars he said no. Driving tourist around is just new the past couple of years, a couple of years ago they weren’t allowed to talk to us on the street. Give the drivers a tip; say $5.00 for about 3 to 4 hours. They are worth it or you can hire me for expenses. Just kidding I can pay for myself. Last March I went for $524.00 all-inclusive 2.5 star for a week. This last trip I stayed at a 4 star for $1,008.00 for two weeks and I even got my own room, not bad that was flights and taxes included.
It’s now to see that the country allows the locals to mingle with the tourists. What I don’t like to see is an old guy around 60 with a young Cuban girl. There are even old ladies say around 60 with a young stud. The reason I don’t like it, is the families and young kids see whats going on. Then there is the other side where you may see people fall in love and wonder if it’s real. Do they just want to get out of the Country, you look at them and say they don’t look like a match at all but then again who am I to judge that. Well you hear it over and over again people get hurt big time.
Another thing that came to me in line at the airport, these young people I met at the resort were telling me how a Cuban from our resort robbed them. I said to them I can’t believe had happened because if it was one of the two guys that worked at the bar, they would have lost everything their job their great future. I asked them how it happened, they told me the guy left his wallet and camera on the table (stupid) and he was drinking for about 4 hours when it went missing. I said, well how about all the guest that they were drinking with, they could of stole it. They said no way they are friends from all over Canada. Well, even in Canada we would not leave our wallet and camera on a table because one of our drinking buddies may take it. Who do you think took it? Anyways, most tourists are good people; while I was there, I got 15 of them on a bus for $15.00 dollars. They could have gone downtown for $15.00 per cab with four for them in it.
Can’t believe I missed my new 100 year old home while I was gone and I’m not a material guy at all.
Off to South America next week, Cheers Pete