Cuba- Getting Around

At this point I am so beyond useless with this blog I won't even bother making excuses !! What I will say is I am thankful to my organised self who had planned a few blog posts way back when I last posted, which may have been March (insert shocked face). Literally how the hell 4 months has passed.

Anyway to the point of this post! My trip to Cuba back in February was one of my more interesting ones to say the least. I have used local transport to pretty much travel the world it was always easy, or an adventure. Travel in Cuba was lets just say a bit- meh!

Now I am going to start with the entirely non- meh part of my travelling around Cuba and kick things off with our classic car tour of Havana. We picked up a white and pink polka dot Chevvy- I mean just  look at it !! Bloomin amazing and our guide was pretty good.

However, to get to this point we did have to spend a solid half hour fending, off the rip off artists trying to coax tourists into their tours for crazy prices! We stepped up our haggling game and actually got a pretty good deal for a 2 hour tour of Havana. We took in the newer side of the city and finished off with a drive along the Malecon. Our driver pointed out the highlights and we laughed as we got so windswept- how people actually stay glam with roofless cars I have no idea!!

If you are in Havana one of these tours is kinda a must- the owners take such pride in their upkeep so they are immaculate. You also get to see a lot of the city in just a short couple of hours.

Okay so fun travelling out of the way- next up was our journey from Havana to Varadero. We had planned on picking up the local bus, but rumours were rife that they were always full. Even our host explained not to bother (well we think- our Spanish was basic!). With that we opted to try the large hotels in the main square, after a few tries we found a travel counter still open and a lady willing to book us on a bus for the morning. She called someone up, took $50 of us both and said to show up at 9am the next day. No receipt or anything! You may think oh that was easy- yes it was ish but it was about 5 times the price of the local bus so a tad infuriating!

We rocked up the next morning and found our coach and settled in for the just over 2 hour journey down to the beach. We stopped once at a cute service station, which had toilets and some snacks. We were then one of the first drop offs which was handy.

Whilst in Varadero we walked as much as we could but we did have to flag down a few taxi's which ranged from classic cars, to weird pod like tuk tuk, to cars that really shouldn't have been on the road. They were easy to flag down but were about $5-$10 a journey which seemed rather steep. I mean I pay less for Uber in London.

Our attempt at buying tickets back to Havana was just as frustrating- we walked for what felt like forever in the heat to the bus station. Where you are then sent to the tourist section to be told the buses were full for the next 3/4 days. Given there were 5 a day and most people we met were on package holidays it seemed a little skeptical they were full. With that we found a travel agency who conveniently had space for us the next day at 4 times the price!! The coach back took a good hour longer as we must have made 10 stops to pick people up.

You are probably thinking I am being over moany as we got where we needed with no dramas. I just hate the feeling of being ripped off simply because I was a tourist! And ultimately our plans to visit other parts of the island were ruined as we knew we wouldn't manage to get there and back! Our friend validated that fear as he had got numerous collectivos around the island. Some were entire days late or just ended up stopping at an entirely different destinations.

I guess the main reason for writing this post is to show the methods of travel are kinda cool, but they are expensive and you really needed to have booked ahead. You can't be all that spontaneous in Cuba if you have limited time, and for me spontaneity is such a big part of travelling it did feel a shame.

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