A Travellerspoint blog

2nd April 2017



Today was a free day in Havana, as the tour does not start until the welcoming meeting at 6:00pm. After breakfast @ 8:30am, I was trying to figure out where I could change my currency on a Sunday. I could only think of the currency exchange at the airport, which would incur a 25CUC taxi fare. However, after conversing with the landlady (who doesn't speak English) she pointed me in the direction of a bank 3 blocks away that would be open on Sunday. It felt so good to have money in my pocket. Continued walking around Old Havana until 4:00pm, when I returned to the guesthouse. The following are some assorted pictures of Havana.

view from guesthouse













Che Guevara features predominantly on many buildings and posters throughout Cuba, and is highly revered as a hero of the revolution. American flags are also quite common, and it seams that, whilst the USA government is hated because of the ongoing blockade, Cubans don't have a problem with Americans in general.

Upon returning to the guesthouse, my room was empty and the bag removed. Turned out I was moving to another guesthouse as a start to the tour. Despite the language problem, my landlady drew a map showing the new guesthouse, which was only a block away. This guesthouse is more appealing then the original one. After the welcome meeting, we had a group dinner at a local restaurant, followed by drinks at a local bar.

Posted by HimalayanPeter 04:42 Archived in Cuba Comments (0)

1st April 2017

Caught the 7.11am train from Heathcote to the airport ready for the 10:50am Virgin Australia flight to Los Angeles. Landed at LA at 6:20am LA time. The Alaskan Airlines flight was due to depart LA 8:50am and I was concerned that in that time I had to clear customs, collect my luggage, move from Terminal B to Terminal 6, and obtain a Cuban Tourist Visa. However, it all happened smoothly and with time to spare, although the Alaskan Airlines flight was then delayed by 2 hours. Arrived at Havana about 7:00pm local time, and was met by my transfer driver at 7:30pm after clearing customs and collecting my bags.



I was expecting to convert Euros to Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) at the airport, but the driver suggested the queue was to long, and I should change the currency in the city. By this time, the sun was setting, and after a half hour drive, we turned into dark alleyways, and I was beginning to get worried. Driver dropped me in a dark alley, rang a doorbell, and drove off. I still had no local money. Turned out the guesthouse was on the first floor, up a narrow staircase. The landlady didn't speak English, and I don't speak Spanish. My room was small, but with a double bed, and doors that only just locked (assuming you didn't push them to hard). When I explained that I had no money, she lent me 40 CUC for dinner. However, it was dark outside, and I had no idea where I was in Havana, so after a quick walk around the block, I returned to the guesthouse with no dinner.


the above picture shows my guesthouse, with the green door, in daylight.

Posted by HimalayanPeter 03:33 Comments (0)

final preparations

One more sleep before flying from Sydney to Havana (Cuba) via Los Angeles. Once in Havana I will join Intrepids 21 day Grand Cuba tour.


Posted by HimalayanPeter 22:39 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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