Hola from Cuba!
Plans for our usual independent style of travel to Cuba changed when, in November, our president once again imposed tighter restrictions, including the requirement to be under the auspices of a US-based tour company.
We worked with Cuba Travel Adventures Group, based in Tiburon, CA, to plan a trip which included our must-see places and experiences, while keeping us in legal compliance.
This arrangement has given us opportunities for much greater insight into Cuban politics, history, culture, and daily life. We’ve had in-depth discussions with a former Diplomat who is now a professor and interpreter; a well-known artist; an American woman who owns a Havana book store. We’ve done the typical tourist things like visit a rum factory and Hemingway’s haunts, take a salsa lesson, and tour Havana in a classic convertible; but also visited a local winemaker who has turned his house in a poor neighborhood into a wine-making lab. We’re dining at the best restaurants in Havana, and spending evenings at a variety of musical venues. The large and elegant private home where we’re staying in Havana is filled with amazing art and music.
Perhaps best of all, once our wonderful guide Ernesto got to know us, he has introduced us to his family and friends.
One night after dinner we joined friends, uncles and cousins to watch the last inning of the National Championship baseball game. Another night we were warmly welcomed into the family home (three generations) of friends, for a delicious meal and dominoes ---a very popular game here. John and I won, by the way, beginner’s luck! Ernesto’s wife LizBetty and three-year old daughter AnaLucia j