Saturday, 28 October 2017

ARIBA ARIBA AND OFF TO CUBA

26th - 27th Oct 2017



Well, after a relatively uneventful, if rather cramped, journey with Iberia from London via Madrid I arrived in Havana on time at 2100hrs at Jos√© Marti international airport. Lots of delay getting baggage..but at least it did arrive. Taxi with a couple of Germans from the airport to Vieja Habana (the old bit) and a slightly convoluted discussion with the taxi driver over who paid what because the Germans were going on to a different place, I was deposited at my 'guest house', called The Greenhouse at midnight. This was the only place I had booked in advance by phone from UK. There are hundreds (or thousands) of 'Casas Particulares' such as this in the city which are basically private houses taking in guests; a sort of cross between a small hotel and B&B. Very reasonable prices and you get well looked after..or at least I have been so far. I post this in haste to 'establish comms'. The internet and telephone systems are somewhat difficult to access (or understand) and I have failed, so far, to download any photos. The photos are, I suspect, the only things which make my blog vaguely interesting. I will make a break here until I can get it sorted out. Hoping for the best, otherwise all will have to be published when I gat back to UK after 14th November.

Caramba!

Still no luck with pics, and having a fairly traumatic time with 'communications'. To access internet here you have to visit a government run ETECSA office. This has involved queuing for, on the last occasion, about 30 minutes on the pavement outside. On getting in you sit down and wait until a desk is free (another 10 minutes). On producing your passport you have the option of buying a card; 1 hr internet for 1.50 CUC (equates to $1.50) or 7.50 CUC for 5 hours. This card can be used to enter codes when you are in a wifi hotspot or, more usually, in a smart hotel which has wifi, and drink, supply. There are seldom any charging points for your PC. The internet here is still in it's infancy and not very user friendly. As for phone access to international calls; forget it. To buy and use a SIM card is horrendously expensive. Suspect the blog will be delayed!

A well dressed perro in Calle Obispo (the Oxford St of Old Havana)

Oh Bollocks! I was pushing the wrong button! Now have access to the photos. Such a long time since I did a blog that I had forgotten how to do it. Battery running low and I'm off for supper. Amazing what they can do with chicken, pig, beans and rice, 'cos there doesn't seem to be much else on offer other than cheese in all the sandwiches, but I will wax lyrical about that later, amongst much else I suspect.

By the way, my waiter at this restaurant is called Saddam Hussein. He tells me his father had a good sense of humour.

Hasta La Victoria Sempre...as they say.


1 comment:

  1. Matt, trying going to the Hotel Nacional's business section and ask for help. You should go there anyway for a drink. ¡No pierdas la esperanza!

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