Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
Trip End May 31, 2012

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Where I stayed
Casa Mireya
What I did
Casa de la Musica Havana
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Hotel Florida
Discotecha (Miramar)

Flag of Cuba  ,
Thursday, July 5, 2012

It was really nice to be back in Havana.  I have always enjoyed returning to places.  Somehow in returning I am able to see the place in a different light.  I think its because the second time you already know where everything is; your not worrying about security so much; you already have your favourite places to eat and stuff is easy to find.

It was also really nice to find a friend in Madelaine who had been my dance teacher during my last visit.  I figured she had had about enough of me because I was a difficult student due to a lack of Spanish, but I was warmly welcomed and she was eager to show me the highlights of Havana night life.  Its always a good night when a local takes you under her wing and she was so patient with my Spanish, I learn so much.

During one of two forays out into the the Havana Feista, we stumbled on Los Van Van playing at the Casa de la Musica - result!  One thing Cuba is definitely good for is live music!

Other highlights were catching a concert during the end of the Havana Tango Festival; riding in a locals Taxi and catching the sunrise on the Malecon, after a night on the town.

It was also great to catch up with Maura, Mireya and Anairis who ran the Casa Particulars we stayed in and helped greatly with our trip and with organising things for Luna.

I believe I am fortunate to count quite a few Cubans as friends after this experience and it was quite sad when it came time to leave.

All flights so far had been uneventful, a minor delay being the most excitement experienceed.  However leaving Havana was a bit more interesting.  After getting comfortable on the plan, the heavens opened and a torrential downpour commenced with amazing thunder and lightening.  It was so bad they closed the airport!  After about 20 minutes the pilot said he had checked the radar and that there was a corridor up and out of the thunderstorm and that we would be taking off shortly.  He also said it might be a bit bumpy!  Was quite and experience and he was right about the bumps, most rattled around I've been for more than 10 years of flying!  Check out the photos looking back down through the clouds at the heart of the storm.  Really quite a beautiful sight.

- JJ
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