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The view from my "office"

JohnM

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In Cuba earlier in the week.

Australia town is named after the Australia sugar mill from the 18th century. Nothing to do with Australian ownership - sugar mills were named after various countries. It’s at the turnoff to the famous Bay of Pigs.

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Milboo

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In Cuba earlier in the week.

Australia town is named after the Australia sugar mill from the 18th century. Nothing to do with Australian ownership - sugar mills were named after various countries. It’s at the turnoff to the famous Bay of Pigs.

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I think it’s obligatory to take a photo near there LOL!

Are you heading to Vinales at all? I have a recommendation if you are. Also see that internet access is vastly improved from my time there 4 years ago!
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JohnM

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Did @Milboo say Vinales? A beautiful valley in the highlands to the west of Havana. World Heritage-listed on account of the landscape.

This was the sunset view from the restaurant office at a local organic farm.

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They have a quite remarkable tradition in many of the more ‘home-style’ restaurants where you pay for the base of a cocktail (in this case a sort of enhanced and very refreshing Pina Colada - costing 3CUC = 3USD), then they plonk a full bottle of ron (rum) on the table and say ‘help yourself’ :oops::oops::):p.

Tradition defines that when you open the bottle of ron, an ‘angels’ -share’ is first splashed onto the ground, then away you go!

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WiFi is interesting in Cuba. It is widely available in public places and is very fast. To access it, you need to buy an access card at about 1 or 2 CUC per hour. My hotel in Havana offered an unlimited card free and I only bothered to buy one 1h card while in the provinces. Too busy having a good time to sit on the internet.

Despite claims to the contrary, USD can be exchanged in Cuba but there is a 10% exchange rate penalty compared with Canadian $, Euros or GBP. But ATMs are common in the larger towns, so changing cash is hardly necessary.

Cuba may be under pressure from LOTFAP sanctions but the place functions remarkably well, the people are amazingly friendly and extraordinarily cheerful, English is very widely spoken (kids learn it in school from age 9), literacy is 100%, there is absolutely no repressive police presence, the police are not para-military and do not carry automatic weapons.

It really is a great place to visit - and tourism is great for their economy. I cannot recommend Cuba more highly. Both an interesting and a very fun place to visit. Cubanos have an amazing joy for life.
 

JohnM

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Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara memorial and mausoleum, Santa Clara, Cuba. Che was an Argentinian medical doctor who joined with Fidel Castro in the revolutionary war 1956-59.

Apparently ‘Che’ is an Argentinian figure of speech so his mates gave him that as a nickname. Santa Clara was the site of the first significant victory and Che led that force.

Che was injured and captured, then assassinated, in Bolivia in about 1967, aged 39.

Photos are not permitted in the mausoleum (which also is dedicated to his compatriots).

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JohnM

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Hauling out of HAV and coming into CUN yesterday. A diverse array of airlines fly into HAV. There was an Aeroflot bird in and Air Angola is another, plus a slew of US carriers. But US sanctions make it impossible to fly direct to LOTFAP if you have been in Cuba for tourism. Go figure...

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QF WP

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Change made @kermatu. Looking at the first photo, I thought, wow that plane is seriously low and the "low terrain, pull up" warning must be blaring :eek: - until I realised you were actually on the ground. A lovely part of Qld.
 

kermatu

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Change made @kermatu. Looking at the first photo, I thought, wow that plane is seriously low and the "low terrain, pull up" warning must be blaring :eek: - until I realised you were actually on the ground. A lovely part of Qld.
Indeed. Suspended over the forest. Gorgeous. Hadn’t done this for quite a few years. Price has sure skyrocketed...
 

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