|Picture courtesy of Alicia Fox Photography|
Que Vuelta el Miol is Cuban street slang for "what's up dude!", and it's painted in big red letters all over my surfboard. If it wasn't for that, the three large bottles of rum and one box of Cuban cigars living in my suitcase, I'd be sure I had dreamt the whole trip.
Life marches to a different beat in the land of Fidel, a world separated in time. All the decrepit and smoking antique cars, the beautiful cobblestone streets and colonial old buildings. Yet still Cuba is weighed down by a subtle heaviness - the result of so many life altering restrictions. It was one of these restrictions that turned my trip on its head.
On arrival I discovered that my Australian bank was really American. It was around 10pm on my first night and I was desperately stuffing various cards into the machine, just to have them spat back out at me. I was unable to change my money in the Panama airport, so what little cash I had was in American dollars. Cuba charges a 20% exchange rate. Ouch. I was there alone for 20 days, with enough money to las me for about 5. Not a good feeling. I went back to my room, had a little cry, then settled in for a very restless night of sleep.
To be continued....
|Old cars like this are a dime a dozen|
|The streets of Old Havana|