Monday, April 13, 2009

Adios, Cuba!

I'm back in Havana from my small round-trip of the country. It's my last day in Cuba and i feel tired. The chaotic living organism of Cuba is starting to feel a bit suffocating. I have really enjoyed my days in here, but it's time to go and i'm ok with that. It's funny how things are: originally i was supposed to be the whole March in Mexico, but then i started thinking that Cuba is so near and it would be shame not to take advantage of this opportunity. So i booked a flight for 9 days in Cuba and after that pretty much all my thoughts from that day on swirled only around going to Cuba. I was really excited and Mexico seemed at times like a bit of an annoyance i have to go through to get to Cuba. Now, after having been to both countries, i discover myself waiting for my return-flight back to Mexico and i think Mexico came out of this "competition" as an unlikely winner. I'm glad i visited Cuba, it is truly a gorgeous country, but i'm even more glad i have a chance to return to Mexico before my flight back to Europe.

I managed my money so that i had exactly enough for taxi to the airport (15 CUCs) and for airport departure tax (25 CUCs), at the same time keeping my fingers crossed that nothing unexpected would occur.

Around 6am in the morning the first sms arrives: "We don't need a visa, right?". I lazily type back "chill, we don't" and fall back asleep. Then eight more sms-s arrive, all in about 2 minute intervals. Somebody somewhere is freaking out, i think to myself. Me and my friend Dasha are meeting in Mexico City and the day of my departure from Cuba is the day of her departure from United States. Later i hear from her that she had been slightly worried in the airport, because she got asked many times that where is her Mexican visa. The nine sms-s were of course a technical error, but she did have to make some quick phone-calls from the airport to confirm that she indeed did not need a visa to Mexico.

I made a deal with one taxi driver that he will come and pick me up the next day at 10.30. This way i don't have to start looking for a taxi in the morning and run around in the neighbourhood with my big bag. Plus, most taxis charge for airport 20 CUCs, we made a deal for 15. Exactly 9.30 he was behind my door :). He came back an hour later as well, so all was good in the end.

Anita, my Havana casa particular's owner (i stayed with her also when i arrived in Havana), was actually terribly kind to me. I told her straight that i don't have any money left except what i owed her for the night, but she made me dinner anyway and eggs with salad for breakfast.

Anita's love-life is very unusual. She is married for the second time and until i had a chance to meet her husband, i didn't very much care for the fact. She is in her 50's and her husband is 29 years old. She is not a wealthy woman and both her and Pedro work and share their everyday life just as any other couple does, except for the odd age difference. And he really seemed to totally adore her. Curiously enough her 32 year old daughter also has a husband that's 11 years younger than her. And to think that i'm here sometimes fussing about that 8 month age difference that me and Jevgeni have :). The Cuban approach to the family model puts some things into rather clear perspective.

Anita & Pedro

Dinner at Anita's place

Funnily enough the Cubans didn't want to let me out of the country. The check-in guys were convinced that i need a visa for Mexico and they weren't particularly swayed by my point that i came to Cuba from Mexico and didn't need a visa then. Even when i showed them Mexico's Distrito Federal stamped page in my passport, they didn't care. Luckily enough some upper management guy came, who recognized Estonia as a country, because he had studied in Tallinn during Soviet Union. He was absolutely delighted that he could speak Russian with me and told the other guys to back off. I'm not sure if he actually knew that i don't need a visa or he just wanted to make a grand gesture, in any case i was free to leave the country.

Adios, Cuba!

Havana's Malecon in the evening

- - -

My expenses in Cuba, 15.-24th March 2009:

transport - 137 CUCs
food - 83 CUCs & 128 cuban pesos
drink - 16 CUCs & 40 cuban pesos
casa particulares - 190 CUCs
sightseeing - 15 CUCs
souvenirs - 16 CUCs
internet + phone - 11 CUCs
airport tax - 25 CUCs
other - 1 CUCs

plane tickets, Cancun-Havana - 240 USD ( 2836 EEK)
Cuban tourism card (visa) - 260 Mexican pesos (259 EEK)
all together 494 CUCs & 168 cuban pesos & 240 USD & 260 Mexican pesos
~ about 9394 EEK

(assuming the rate of ~ 1 CUC = 12,6 EEK and 1 cuban peso = 0,44 EEK)


  1. probably your blog is very informative, and the photos are indeed awesome. you can submit a few good pics and articles to LP and they will get you a free guidebook of your choice if our stuff gets published ;-) I will definitely refer to your info when i travel to that part of the world!!

  2. Thanks! I'm glad you like my blog.
    About submitting the stuff for LP, it's not a bad idea, actually. Some of the readers have also proposed that i should submit this blog to different travel sites, forums etc. I think i'm too lazy to deal with it, but everybody, please feel free to spread the link for me! hehe :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails