The flight to Cuba lasted for 9hours 30 mins (luckily on the way back it’s an hour less because of the tail wind!). I’d been up since 5 because I live a two hour drive to the airport and then there was the three hours waiting before the flight! LONG LONG, morning. On the flight I watched Tower heist and Breaking Dawn part 1; both films were okay but not something I would never have watched otherwise! Then as we were approaching the run way we could see from the air Cuba, the land could have been England, it was luscious and green. There weren’t that many roads and barely any cities and buildings, it was just agricultural areas! We touched down at 15:30 local time! As we were arriving in the airport looked like none other I had seen before for an international airport-it had one run way and looked like 3 huts just put together to for one larger size- I think that the check-in desk at Manchester was bigger! The customs as you got off the plane was also bizarre as you had to wait in a corridor style door way and the people checked your passport and took a photo and then unlocked the door at the other end, I have never been through anything like that before! On the other side I got distracted by the cute dog and we went to go give it a stroke until we realised it was a drug sniffer haha!
We were staying in the resort of Cayo Santa Maria; it was a separate island across a causeway from the mainland. To get there, there was a toll booth which meant that no inhabitants lived on it or could enter it if they didn’t work there! To get here was endured a 1hour 50 mins coach journey. The coaches were some of the nicest one’s I have seen, they were clean, tidy and air conditioned! On the journey we were able to witness some of rural Cuba- I don’t know what I was expecting, but what I saw, that wasn’t it! There was a high poverty line many houses were built along the road but the word house I use loosely as they were more just like one story rooms where you could see fully though with a small porch on the front, which many people were sat on. In one garden a man even had a horse!
The different types of transportation were amazing there were horse and carts, 1940’s and 50’s cars (which I was expecting) old style American buses and what I wasn’t expecting was some modern cars as well. The colour of a registration plate showed who owned the cars, red was hired, yellow was private owned and brown was government. There was a couple more that I can’t remember!
There were 3 cities on the drive, the cities bore no mark of the same kind of industrialisation that many western countries have, no McDonalds, Costa or Starbucks on any corner! The status city that we passed for was a similar size to a large village here! It was tiny! The buildings that had been classed as being sites to see by the guide looked like derelict buildings that had never been cleaned- they were not enticing to go and see. An example of this was a church which dated 1550 and had been built by the Spanish when they had founded the city. The city looked like it needed a good refurbishment, but there is just not the money in the country to do this!
The causeway was a beautiful site and a great idea. The brochure said before that you went through 2 islands before the last one, which we were on, we had planned on having a bike ride to these islands, however they didn’t really quantify too much. One had a dolphin place, petrol station and small airport for trips to Havana and the other had just a singular hotel. The place has only been running for ten years, this is the eleventh, and you can tell that it is just getting started. But as we arrived there was no denying the beauty!