More delays - but it gets better

Trip Start Apr 21, 2011
Trip End May 06, 2011

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Where I stayed
Jardins Los Cocos Motel

Flag of Cuba  , Ciego de Avila Province,
Saturday, April 23, 2011

Our stay at Hotel Inglaterra included breakfast and although our room was fairly ordinary, the public areas of the hotel definitely looked the part and the breakfast was substantial and had plenty of variety.

The cost of car rental in Cuba is ridiculous. We had managed to arrange a reduced rate, saving about 100 on the best quote we’d seen via some contacts but we were still waiting at the hotel for our renter to arrive at 10 a.m., one hour after we had agreed. We gave up and started talking to the Cubacar rep in the hotel and 60minutes later we were off on the long drive to Cayo Coco.

Driving in Cuba was pretty much as expected. Not a lot off traffic. Not a lot of discipline. Several police checkpoints. There were a lot of fires burning, the biggest of which we initially thought was a huge thunder cloud, because the column of smoke blocked out the sun when we were still several kilometres away. This one seemed to be out of control because the smoke made driving conditions rather dangerous for perhaps half a mile, with visibilty very low and there were two fire engines stationed next to an electricity substation that was in the path of the flames (as were several farms and houses) and clearly under threat.

We stopped a couple of times to refuel the car and ourselves and dawdled across the long causeway from the mainland, picking up a few more species on the way and we arrived at the inexpensive Jardin Los Cocos Motel just after sunset. The Lonely Planet guide is a bit sniffy about this place, calling it a place for Cuban workers with musty rooms, but we were quite taken with it and it was an excellent alternative to one of the local all-inclusive places. Dinner at the motel was fine and there was a Grey Kingbird catching flies around the light outside our room.

Total bird species seen - 25, of which 11 were species we hadn’t seen before.

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