White sands, Carribean Seas and pink cars

Travelling between towns in Cuba you can use the buses which are slow, trains which are unreliable or our choice “the collective” a share car, which also gives you the opportunity to meet fellow travellers. We have travelled with French, polish and today two gorgeous German girls. This mode of transport is somewhat squishy and uncomfortable but the fastest way at not much more than a bus in price. 

We are heading to Varadero a beautiful stretch of beach, part of the Carribean. What better day to spend our last days in Cuba. 

Along the roads, hitch hikers. No, not tourists, just locals. They stand at the side of the road with money in hand. Hoping this will entice a driver into picking them up. Why not catch a bus if you have money? That was my question too. The answer sadly is they don’t have money for a bus trip. They are poor. Only 38 in 1000 Cubans can afford a car. 

We arrive to a 20km stretch of beach on the Carribean Sea. Staying in the old part it is a mix of single and double storey houses in bright and bold colours. Some Spanish in architecture, some retro, it’s a eclectic mix. Some beach front houses are so old, neglected, leaning to one side, shutters hanging off windows, but still full of charm. At home they’d be offered a couple of mill for position alone. They are quietly unaware. Further down the road, houses turn into brightly coloured hotels, then beach resorts, a marina, one after another, huge with construction going on to build more. It was like a ghost town. Though it is not yet tourist season. 

Hues of pink everywhere in the are. Vintage cars offer ring taxi rides. Half price for you they yell (no tourists ) nearly all pink, different shades and cars but make for a truly fabulous sight. 

A day spent on white sand that stuck to your body, even after many swims in the ice blue clear carribean water, the temperature  perfect. 

Simply put, paradise. 

Our last morning on the beach. Yes again breathing in the Carribean air. Snapshot in my head. A memory forever imprinted. We soaked it in. 

People already up, joggers and walkers, swimming, fishermen who catch their fish by hand, standing in thigh deep water, remnants of beer cans from yesterday’s beach parties. At some stage someone picks up this rubbing. Cuba is clean. Boys putting out banana lounges and umbrellas ready to make their days earning. Another day behind 

Waking back along the beach road we heard singing, laughing, music.

Craig’s photographic eye saw yet another photographic opportunity. A school bus with graffiti all over it. He took photos. We read it. It was a bus that collected children. Not just Cuban and took them to this school

If you read the side of the bus it says “ the 8th friendship caravan” 

How beautiful we thought. We looked through the gates. Children dancing and singing, having fun. They were waving to us. Dancing for us. It made them happy to do this. At the end of the song they all stopped and waved with such joy to us! 

The children were a mix of intellectually disabled and mixed races. For me that was one of the most beautiful sights I have witnessed in Cuba. 

Again Cuba spoiled us with more delicious culinary treats. Each  night seems to be better than the previous. Our dinner, the service impeccable, it could not be faulted. It would rival any restaurant at home. 

10pm like clockwork the heavens opened. Not allowing us to walk off the copious amounts of food we just ate. Taxi !

Our last collective, our last meeting with like minded travellers, who have all adored Cuba. We may have different favourite places, but the common factor, we all LOVE Cuba. Our last trip is like s gift. An old vintage Chrysler. In great nick. 

Plenty of room and we are sharing it with two beautiful Dutch girls. We pass over the highest bridge in Cuba looking again at lush green trees, native bushes in valleys on our return trip to the ever exciting and colourful Havana. 

We are back. We eat street food and take in the rest of the day seeping in, all that Havana has to offer. 

Happy hour for 4 hours 👌 free salsa lessons. Pizza so big and so good, you go back for more, just one more piece. Carts on the side of the road where a Cuban wielding a big knife will chop up pineapples, coconuts, mangoes fresh for you to eat. 

We love this city. 

A night in Havana and our Cuba experiences are done. I would like to think I’ll be back. We have unfinished business here. 

Cuba is like nowhere else. Just sit back and watch. ❤️

Buenos Dias 


From Cuba with love 

Published by Janette Bendle

I have reached my fabulous 50s. Guess what, it’s okay. 20 years in the health and wellness industry. Educating men and women on the importance of nourishing their bodies with good food, moving with integrity, recharging their energy levels and empowering their minds. I love my job. A mother of two boys who are now men and my greatest achievement. A lover of words, an aspiring author with a book written and no idea where to go next, a poet who writes from the heart and her vulnerability. A foodie who loves to experiment, a salad lover , But not just your Every day salad, I throw in anything you can think of it ends up in my salad. I have a reputation for making the greatest weirdest salads around. As a total contradiction, I have a ridiculous sweet tooth. I rescue abandoned souls in the bodies of dogs, an animal lover, Who sometimes likes animals more than humans. My teacher in life, my mother never ceases to amaze me. I am one fortunate human being who is filled with gratitude for the life she lives.

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