El Meson de la Flota
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After three delightful weeks in the US (chronicled here), it was time for our Caribbean adventure to begin. We planned to spend 15 days in Cuba and 5 days in Mexico, and, while our flights were booked, nothing else was. We'd done little to no research beforehand and were facing a full two week internet blackout while in Cuba, so we'd gone old school for this one: back to the old Lonely Planet as our go-to guide.
As such, we basically planned ...
... sleeping is not cheap and all casa particular usually start asking you for something like 20/25 CUC (so almost US$) per night. Well, this is low season, I got quickly that, this was lot of money in Cuba, I won't pay anything more than 10 CUC per night, except these first nights in Havana.
No one else was staying at the house I was so I visited Havana on my own, walking all these historical streets, taking hundred of photos of the old buildings, cool American ...
... to understand he was a merchant marine captain for cuba and retired at age 65 but still works in the restoration of buildings and a business of making leadlight windows and lampshades. He tells me his pension after 25 years as a captain is 300 pesos a month (12 CUC or 12 US dollars) to live on so he must still work.This is why the casa particulars are an important way for locals to supplement their income. They still have a daughter, 15 going to school. Their older son ...
... Pinar del Rio. His specialty is the cultures of English-speaking countries, and he knows a lot of facts about Canada, which he listed, rapid-fire: Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, W.O. Mitchell, Margaret Laurence (and others); Granville Island, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain (and others); the Skeena River, the Thompson River, and the Fraser; all the municipalities from the lower mainland to Lillooet, and so on. (He used to get Beautiful BC magazine). ...
... in return. They have a hot shower and wash their clothes, and meet locals, rather than other tourists in a hostel. It's really just a great way to assist other travellers and meet new people - then one day when you travel (as we are now), others hopefully return the favour. Simple as that. Run total: 2 (Total: 4) Almost choked from car fumes on both runs along the Melacon. Nice area to walk or relax at night, but not ideal for long runs in the heat and ...