Cuba Independently? Es Posible!

All photos by David Badger

The idea of visiting Cuba was first thought of on a flight from Berlin Tegel airport to Birmingham International airport UK, during a conversation between myself and Neil Heitzman, on where in the world would each of us like to visit, having spent a week in southern Poland along with another former university friend, Chris Bentley.

Therefore, the Cuban seeds were sown… I knew I could find some information from Andy Mitchell whom I worked with on the RSPB song thrush project a year earlier. So after gleaning as much info as possible from Andy regards both tourist practicalities and some sites of ornithological interest (this being one of the reasons that I personally wanted to visit) as well as some extensive reading and net surfing, we prepared a rough route and booked some accommodation with (Captivating Cuba/Voyager Travel). We flew with Cubana (the national airline) from London Gatwick direct to Havana Jose Marti.

1: Getting There
Flying Cubana and negotiating Customs before a first night in Havana.

2: Havana
Strolling along the malecon and a visit to the Pardegas Cigar Factory.

3: Old Habana/Vieja
The unwanted attention of hawkers leads to a wonderful discovery, the mojito.

4: The Road to Vinales
Leaving Havana for the countryside, the lads take in some fantastic scenery.

5: Sierra De Rosario
The food in the local palador is excellent and Cuban coffee should be added to a list of banned substances!

6: The Road to Trinidad
Taking the most dangerous drive in Cuba to the UNESCO world heritage listed city of Trinidad.

7: Moron & the Northern Keys
This was the longest and either most exciting or traumatic day of the trip, whichever way you care to look at it.

8: Bay of Pigs
There are still pill boxes on the beach and the odd memorial to those that lost their lives here.

9: Varadero
Varadero is Cuba’s equivalent to Cancun in Mexico or the Costa del Sol in Spain, for better or worse!

Birding Trip Report
Cuba is fantastic for bird- watching. This is Derek’s report from this trip.

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