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.
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.
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.