Mon 19 Mar, 2012 05:33 pm
So a while back I asked for some advice from anyone who'd been to Argentina (BA), Paraguay (MVD), and Brazil (Rio). Don't think I got much of a response, so now I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on Cuba (Havana and Varadero). I'll be going there in June with my daughter.

In BA, we rented a 24-hour secured apartment with a gym and pool for a measly $470 for 7 nights... we've also signed up with a polo outfit for a day of polo lessons, followed by a match Smile That should be funny and I hope to video/shoot some of it since the friend I'm going with is (if you can believe it) SHORTER than me and has never been on a horse. Plus, she's 65. I'm already laughing at the idea. We rented a room in a seaside hotel in Montevideo for $13 a night (wow) and we're on her company's dime while in Rio. Will let you know how all that turns out.

Cuba - I know you poor souls can't trade with Cuba so you can't even go there without fear of arrest, but I plan to make the most of it. We're going to visit a tobacco plantation and learn to roll cigars, drive around Havana in one of their 1950's boat-mobiles, plus many other side shows Smile You guys should really get your government to lift the embargo! What a waste of time, not to mention it's so ancient! But I guess if it's still illegal to walk a turkey down the street in Texas somewhere, they'll never let you visit Cuba.

I'm gonna have me a mojito and smell my cigar. Thank God I'm Canadian Smile
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Mon 19 Mar, 2012 06:25 pm
I would love to visit Cuba; I’ve been to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean several times. I think it would be the coolest to visit Havana! That sounds like an awesome vacation! I would do it in a minute!
Mon 19 Mar, 2012 07:37 pm
I think it's going to be fantastic, too. Everyone I've spoken to (maybe 6, 7 ppl) who've been there has loved it. "The people are so nice", "the food is great", etc. So we're going to do everything we can. I'll post some pics and stories for you Smile
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Mon 19 Mar, 2012 07:45 pm
Cuban-Americans are allowed to visit. I can visit if I go as part of an outreach program (I have relatives that have done that, but 'handlers' followed them everywhere).

There are some American companies that want to start a ferry service to Cuba, but the president put the ix-nay on that.

Some day...maybe.

Have fun, Mame!!
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Mon 19 Mar, 2012 08:42 pm
I think I'm the only person in my family who hasn't been to Cuba. I'll tell you what they told me.
It's very poor. Whenever my relies go, they always bring stuff for the hotel staff, like toothpaste, nylons, shampoo and so on. As for food, I've heard that there are little restaurants owned by the locals that are very good, but over all the food is rather bland, because of the embargo - things like spices are hard to come by.
You should try and check out a baseball game, apparently they have some of the best players in the world and games are very exciting.
Havana is beautiful and the music clubs are supposed to be fantastic. Make sure you get your shots are some areas are prone to mosquito borne diseases. Aside from all the above, the people are warm and inviting. I hope you have a wonderful trip. Can't wait to see some pictures...
Tue 20 Mar, 2012 06:44 am
Sorry, no advice to offer, Mame.
Sadly this is as close as I'm to ever likely get to Cuba.
But I would love to go there! I envy you.
Some great footage here of streets, architecture & people of Havana .... the music's pretty good, too! Smile

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Tue 20 Mar, 2012 07:34 am
Anyone ever see the Luis Tiant documentary where he goes back and visits Cuba? My neighbor is in the movie (he works for the company that put together the movie). You do see alot of the poor and how poor his family is.

Yeah I'd suggest seeing one of their baseball games.
Tue 20 Mar, 2012 08:00 am
I understand that most people make $1/day, so tipping is popular! They charge you 3% extra if you pay in American $, so I'm taking Canadian and will exchange it there. Yes, they're poor, but I wonder if it's as bad as Central America. Guess we'll find out.

I don't know about the food - I know we're staying at B&Bs - I prefer to go native - and the rooms are $30/night, breakfast is $3.50 - $5.50, and dinner is $12.00.

That's a ways away yet, though... first it's Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and Rio! Smile Whoo hoo. Gotta brush up on my Spanish.
Tue 20 Mar, 2012 08:03 am
Well the one thing we learned about Uruguay is the people live a good lifestyle - meaning there not the poor you may see in other south American or Carribbean countries.
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Tue 20 Mar, 2012 10:55 pm
I've read novels set in all those places but haven't been myself. Sounds like a great trip. I'm hoping you take lots of photos.
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