The trip across the gulf stream was overnight and took 23 hours , winds 15 mph sea’s 4-6 feet , just as perfect as you could ever had got. We took our DRUGS (dramamine) and went to sleep. There was an alcohol ban on this stretch ,because if anyone did go over board at night , they would definitely be lost at sea. The trip went without a hitch and we arrived in Hemming way marina 10 miles north of Havana. The customs process was fast and efficient . We had a medical check and boat , inspection then were free to leave and explore Cuba .. we had a quick breakfast ..said our farewells to the crew.
We left the marina and tried to get some Cuban money , there was none to be had at the local hotel . I got chatting with a staff member and before you could say CASTRO .. i was changing money on the black market ..with a friend of a friend 🙂 We jumped in to a cab and headed for Havana . Will was a little anxious about arriving with no accommodation , but i assured everyone if we couldn’t get a room , i’d buy everyone blankets at my cost 🙂 . We headed to the Nacional Hotel to use their Wifi , We were struggling to get a connection and to complete booking process for airbnb . So we walked out of the 500 dollar a night hotel across the road to a lovely building where a guy was sat outside ,asking if we needed a room. We bagged a 2 bedroom apartment for 70 usd per night ..BARGAIN!!!
The staircase to the building was quite interesting and proved to be a good photo opportunity.
and then later that night.
We headed out into old Havana and walked along the Malecon towards a restaurant near the fort that had been recommended to us. The food was so so but we got a balcony seat at sunset , which made up for it …
Havana is a safe place to wander through the streets in the day time , like any city it changes at night , so you have to stick close to the main arteries. keep your wits about you and you’ll be just fine. We got back to our accommodation and dropped into a cafe bar ..which was actually a haunt for ” Local sex workers” … a very chilled and relaxed place …becoming an instant favourite of ours .. we visited nightly in the early hours 🙂
The next night we went to a place called El Gato ( the cat) and they had an opera recital which was quite impressive.
On our final full day we hired a 1952 Buick and cruised the streets of old Havana. What a blast that was , 4 hombres lording it up. all for 30 usd an hour.
Cuba was such a surprise not run down like everyone had said ..Old Havana was of course old and in the long process of renovation , but has a warm rustic feel to it. People were super friendly and always smiling , in difficult economic situations. If you are thinking of going just book and go ..and look for the up turned blue anchor symbol above doorways and go inside and ask for a room. Use the nacional hotel to lounge around when you want a bit of luxury , reasonably priced food and drinks.
IMMERSE ….. RELAX …….. ENJOY 🙂