Before I went on this trip I read through some of the reviews to get an idea of what to expect. I think it says a lot about how much this trip meant to people by the amount of positive things that were written and the fact that so many took the time to wax lyrical about the place. Cuba's a place that confuses and mesmerises in equal measures, can't wait until I go back.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
I lost my heart to Cuba, though it's a real country of contradictions. I found myself falling out with some of it's ideals but loved the people, music and beauty of the place. There isn't one moment to choose from, there were lots of stand out things that we did.
Dancing - anywhere, anytime and with anyone
Swimming in the seas and rivers
All the different types of transport from the 1950's cars to a horse and cart
Che Guevara's hideout and the vertical drive to the start of our walk to it
Baracoa - from the sea wall to the club on the hilltop
- What did you think of your group leader?
- Laz was fun, knowledgable, clearly passionate about his country and spoke fantastic english. He was with us from breakfast until the trova houses closed practically every day and was always willing to help with menu translations and restaurant suggestions. He listened to what we wanted and delivered where possible to accomodate our desire to swim in the sea at every possible opportunity.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Don't wait to learn salsa, just get up and dance with anyone and everyone. On our first proper night we went to a Trova house and ended up dancing with all the locals even if we could only shuffle from left to right. It set the tone for the trip.
Small change is really useful for toilet trip tips and other tips.
Don't rely on one credit/debit card in case the hole in the wall eats it!
If you're a snacker then bring them with you as there aren't that many stops where you can stock up on crisps, chocolate etc.
June was hot and humid so if you don't want to be sweaty I'd recommend going in the cooler months. That said, travelling out of season meant places were much quieter. We were practically the only tourists in Baracoa.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
I wanted to take the opportunity to thank our driver, Orlando. I always felt safe with him at the wheel, he was always cool as a cucumber in every type of driving condition from the expected potholes to the less expected crabs and rice in the road.
Just book it, I'm sure you won't regret it.