Thursday, April 25, 2013

Casa Particular Nestor, Santiago de Cuba

I lost the card so I don't know the real name nor the adress, it is next to the corner of Desiderio Mesnir and Mariano Corona.
It was a nice and help full family. I had to ring to get in, but they didn't mind me coming home in the middle of the night, or at least didn't say anything ;) Also Nestor drove me to the immigration office on his DDR built motorbike, nice!

I had a huge room with aircon (and tiny windows) for 20CHF/US$ the night and the meals were between 5 and 7CHF/US$.

Santiago de Cuba & Baracoa

After Holguin I left for Santiago. I wanted to take the Viazul bus but couldn't buy the ticket before. First they told me to be at the station at 8:45, then the muchacho said to wait till 9:00, then he left. Later he told to wait till 9:30 and so on. There was a young Italian couple and a french guy waiting, so in the end we took a cab together. But just as we drove away from the bus station the bus arrived...

In Santiago de Cuba I visited the old town, which looks like it is falling apart any time after years of pirate and hurricane attacks. I took a cab out to the Castillo de Morro which guards the entrance to the bay. Lovely view and there is a little pirate museum inside, all in español though. In the evening I went out with Gilbert, the french math prof to party. It's just strange when a bottle of rum in the disco costs the same as a single drink back home.

Next was Baracoa, the first city and capital in Cuba. Described as a little town out of touch with the world it can't live up to its reputation. Of course the city is cute but I was expecting something half the size or less. Nevertheless its surrounded by national parks, so I had to take a trip there. Our group had nice guide which knew all the plants, birds and lizards and how they could be used as medicine (the plants ;). There was even the usual jump form the waterfall ;) Later we lounged at the beach, I don't know the name but it was all white sand and turquoise water.

This is the most western part of my trip, now it gets back to the north-east.


Casa Particular Sra. Nereida Concepción Hdz., Holguin

For 20CHF/US$ I got a clean room with my own bathroom, balcony, air condition and entrance.

Calle Arias No.310 e/ Victoria z Mendieta

Friday, April 19, 2013

Casa Particular Hostel Juana, Guardalavaca

Friends recommended the Villa Bely but it was booked out. I tried my luck in one of the many casa particulares along the road. For 25CHF/US$ (they wanted 30 first..) i got my own room with air con in an apartamento on the first floor.They cooked me a decent dinner for 5CHF/US$.

Casa Particular Los Hermanos, Gibara

As this casa was in an old building of the colonial area all the rooms (including the doors) were about 4m tall. The rooms were clustered around a tiny patio with rocking chairs and the whole house was nicely restored. I had my own tiny bathroom and two fans, but the night was cool enough (first time i wore my sweater apart form the airplane/bus). A night cost me 20CHF/US$ and dinner was 8CHF/US$.

Hotel Herradura, Varadero

Not really worth the 50CHF/US$ as the room and the whole hotel looked like it would fall apart if not for the rusty nails and boards that seemed to hold everything together. Nevertheless it was clean, had air con and I could store my luggage after checkout as the bus station is just nearby.

Lonley Traveller

To pass the days and evenings, to amuse everybody at home, to keep track were and how i stayed and maybe for somebody out there in the wilderness of the internet i will try to write a tiny blog post to each of my lodgings. Not much, just enough for a lazy Lonley Planet editor to copy.

So far

I lounged at the beach in Varadero (got sunburned), spent a freezing night in one of the chinesemade
overnight busses to Holguin, spent two days with friends of my mother in Holguin were the showed me around and let me take part in there everyday life.
For example buying groceries, on sunday the national supermarket (or how it is called) gets ice cream. But  till we arrived there the line was allready longer than the amount it had to sell. We then tried to buy some  platanos (plantain) for which we had to visit 5 different market stands. Of course they were all spread around the innercity...
After Holguin I left for Gibara, a sleepy old town with much of its buildings still dating back to the colonial area. I saw maybe three to four cars and propably twice as many horse carriages, but transport is another blogpost on its own. In the evening the streets which lay empty all day began to fill and there was even a band playing.
The next day I took a mecanico back to Holguin and then a Bus/Truck to Guardalavaca. I went diving (not extraordinary but okay) and visited the friend of the family at work in one one of the all-inclusive-hotels. I just walked in as if I would stay there and found him bi chance working at the Havana Club Bar, where I  enjoyed drinks for free ^^
Two nights was enough on this tourist strip and the next day I took a mecanico back to Holguin, got my old casa particular and now I’m writing this.



Because I’m lazy I didn’t wanted the have a ordinary blog with a lot of text an such. Just some pictures with GPS coordinates so everbody knew when and were they were taken and thats it. I would leave the blogging to my better half ;)

But my plans or should I say my non existing plans were shattered on the infrastructure or should I say the missing infrastructure in cuba. Internet access is something truly uncommon on this island as far i can tell. That my rundown hotel for the first two nights in Varadero or my casa particular in Holguin didn’t have any internet access was not surprising. But then I learned that the only Internet access was to be found in special governement internet cafes and in the finer (say expensive) hotels. And in both places on special workstations for which you have to buy a little prepaid card, scratch of the account name and passwort and login. No big deal you may think, but with a city the size of Holguin (300’000 inhabitants) there was only one internet cafe. Luckily most of the cubans can’t afford the 3CHF/US$ for 30min so I didn’t had to wait long till one of the 7 stations was free to use. Prepared I had exported some pictures on a USB stick which I wanted to upload, but behold... it took more than 20min for just one!
So this is my excuse why you haven’t heard from me so far and propably wont till I leave this island. This is also the reason the website is still a work in progress as I can’t use my own shiny MacBook and all my tools.

I still try to write down in different post, hope it's not too confusing ;)



We asked ourselfs in which language we should write this blog. English for all the people we would meet on  the road and the internet itself or german for our friends and family back home. But as this is the age of the fruitbat aeh 21. century we decided to keep it in english. Also to increase the money we get from all the ads on this blog so we could live in luxury till the end of our lifes (yes I know there are no ads...).

Wir haben uns gefragt in welcher Sprache wir unser blog führen sollen. Deutsch für die Familie und Freunde zuhause oder in englisch für die Leute die wir unterwegs kennenlernen werden und den Rest der Welt? 

Wir haben uns für englisch entschieden, für die hier deshalb nichts verstehen: geniesst die Bilder! 
Aber ich schaue das ich einrichten kann das die Post automatisch übersetzt werden. 
Wird sicher witzig ;)

PS: I decided to end each post in one of the many phrases written on the walls of cuba ;)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013