At the last minute (well 10 days before) we decided to escape the cold and snow and spend a week in Cuba (our first trip there), specifically Playa Guardalavaca, about an hour from Holguin, the capital of this eastern province of Cuba. 

      Expecting to spend most, if not all our time at the resort I did not keep this blog during our trip - after all how many picutres of the same pool or same beach can one speak to?  But we did take two day trips at the end of the week - not packaged tours but rather with our own drivers.  Doing so allowed us to stop whenever we wanted - when we saw something interesting or a photo op.

     The first few photos are of rural life in Cuba, where carts pulled either by horses or oxen were very common.  There are then a few photos of Holquin and Gibara, a fishing town where we stopped for lunch.  Old American cars dating from the 1950s are reasonably common.  In fact our drive the second morning was in a 1954 Chevrolet.

     But the majority of the photos are of Cuban people - I'll call it Faces of Cuba.  Hopefully you will find them interesting. 

 

     First a few photos of modes of transportaion - from horse drawn wagons, to oxen drawn carts; to a horse carrying milk cans; to passenger trucks.  Cuba does not have a bus system (other than for the tourists) but rather these 'buses' that are packed - and every one appeared to be over-loaded.  

A few buildings and streetscapes in first Holguin and then Gibara. 

 Some of the old American cars - many used as taxis - common throughout Cuba, each impeccably maintained.

Faces of Cuba

 

To start a few of the musicians who played at the resort.  The music - always before and often during dinner and the evening performances  were generally very good, a pleasant surprise. 

A nurse at a medical clinic we visited.  In spite of the significant poverty of many in Cuba both our tour drivers / guides spoke very highly of both the education system and medical facilities.

On our drive the second day Luis (left) took us to his parents' (centre) home with our guide Reydal (right) where we were welcomed in a typical Cuban home - small but functional, offered fresh juice and coffee along with sugar cane freshly squeezed by Luis' father.

Luis, our driver and owner of the 1954 Cheverolet, which he said was worth approx. 25,000 convertible Cuban pesos ($29,000 Cdn $) ... not that he would ever sell it.

 ... and finally here we have Miguel and Miguel.  The younger is 72; the elder Miguel 97.