I find a travel day a mixture of boredom and frustration. Today it’s a bit of both.
It’s been smooth. Out of NOLA very early and it all went well. Into the lounge again so that was very welcome.
Then the 1hr flight to Cancun to transit to Havana. We arrived at terminal one, collected our bags then decided to not wait the 1/2 for a free bus to get us to terminal 2. We got a taxi at a $20 rip off cost! He told us we needed terminal 4! We arrived went inside and realised we were at the wrong terminal !
Once again we went out and I’m sure his ‘brother’ was waiting to get us again for another $20! This time we waited for the free shuttle.
So here we sit waiting for our Interjet flight to Havana. Let’s hope it’s smooth and our bags arrive!
Our flight was delayed by about 1.5 Hr so we sat around then almost missed getting to the gate. A lovely young Australian guy came looking for us to tell us it was boarding – the board did not indicate boarding had started. It still said ‘delayed!’
Once on board it was a smooth 1 hr flight to Havana. The pilots here all take off in a hurry and land quickly with a bump ( yes there was clapping by appreciative flyers). But we and the luggage made it.
Then a little frustrating moment as our pick up contact from Peregrine tours wasn’t there. No board with our name in it! We waited and waited till s guy from another company said it might be better to take s taxi. So I had to line up to get money out from the atm.
There are two currencies here. The CUC which is more commonly used in tourism and the notes have pictures of buildings and monuments. And the CUP pesos which has pictures of people and is used by the locals particularly in markets and little shops. The trick is to tell the difference!
We took a taxi which took about 30 mins and cost 30 CUC.
We arrived at a large hotel. The Riveria by the water on the Malecon. It was built back in the late 1940’s by a Spanish company. It’s tired looking with large spaces, grand looking staircases, murals on the walls and a damp smell in the corridors and a wet concrete smell in the bedrooms. It adds a certain charm! Of a communist nature.
Our guide Alex is just lovely. Dark and handsome with a twinkle in his eye he will guide us around Cuba for the next 8 days.
He explained what would happen over the next few days whilst we caught up with John & Margaret Brannock and enjoyed our welcome drink.
Then we went off to withdraw some more CUC for our travels and into a restaurant just near the hotel.
We’d heard the food was pretty plain and not so good but I enjoyed my chicken with Cilantro sauce. We all had beer and enjoyed chatting to Alex about life in Havana.
Steve’s sister Marg arrives later tonight and we have an 8.30 start tomorrow.
On the way back to our hotel we posed in front of our first Havana car.