Do we recommend Cuba?
The good things about Cuba were: the genuinely friendly people; the fact that they spoke a
language we could speak, albeit badly; the lack of hassle, outside Habana anyway; the excellent
cycling conditions, in particular with little traffic, and that little always considerate; the
weather, like an English summer at its best; and, surprisingly, the food and Cuban beer. Cuban food
gets a bad press, probably because it is not up to much in the hotels. But we ate mainly in our
casas, where the food was home-cooked and included freshly-prepared soups, salads, fruits, lobster
(once, memorably caught specially for us) and shrimp. The rice was always excellent. And the staple
chicken had spent its days pecking in the yard just by.
One of Cuba's famous antiques
Havana after a cold front
The less good things were: the noise, from defective exhaust systems in town, to all-night
crowing cocks and barking dogs in the country, all accompanied by over-amplified latin-american pop;
and the litter, including lots of broken glass on the highway - we couldn't understand why, in a
country with cheap labour, they didn't clean the place up.
All in all, this was the best winter holiday we've had.