It was much, much better than expected - the Cubans, the country, the scenary, the weather and the food were great. Our group leader was excellent - his contribution really made the trip .... absolutely nothing fazed him!
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
The guided tours around the various cities and towns - the architecture, street/square layout, the markets, the everpresent live music and the old American cars.
The El Cubano Nature park - the walk punctuated by a swim under a waterfall (almost).
The sighting of the world's smallest humming bird.
The trip to Vignales - especially to the tobacco farmer who provided freshly rolled cigars for smoking.
The traffic free roads.
- What did you think of your group leader?
Freddie, our group leader was always cheerful, interested, enthusiastic, extremely knowledgeable, helpful and, and........ He was by far the best that I have encountered on this type of trip.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Keep your stay in Havana brief - it has the features of all large cities - noise, traffic and high prices. You'll see the real Cuba outside of Havana.
The everpresent live music groups in the restaurants can become a little tedious as they tend to play the same sort of music in the same style (a la 1940s-50s) - possibly as a sop to the tourists. I am sure that there is more up-to-date Cuban music with more variation!
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
If you want to see the whole island then be prepared for long bus journeys.
Could have done with some compulsory salsa( and cha cha-cha) lessons !