During Rocío and my visit to Cuba we saw multiple old and modern artefacts from other communist or former communist countries. Considering Cuba’s post-revolution political alignment and the United States embargo this should not have been a surprise.
A tip for those visiting Cuba: at your guest house check under the china for its origin. With limited access to goods, Cubans often keep items for decades, including their stoneware. We noticed this at our first meal in Cuba with crockery made in Czechoslovakia, a European country last existing in 1992.
Crockery made in Czechoslovakia at our first Havana guest house
At Santiago de Cuba we used a porcelain coffee set produced in Bulgaria, most likely from its pre-1990 communist period. Continue reading →
Rocío and I wanted to catch a train on our Cuban trip at least once. Unfortunately, the Santiago de Cuba to Holguín train times weren’t convenient. Instead, Rocío asked around how to get there and we went trucking.
Sugar cane, Cuba’s primary agricultural product, between Santiago de Cuba and Holguín
We caught a passenger truck one third of the way (10 CUP/US$0.40 each) and then a second truck the remaining distance (2.50 CUC/US$2.50 each). Well, we thought it was taking us to Holguín. However, it dropped us off part way.
Passing by Birán, where Fidel and Raúl Castro grew up
Slightly annoyed we got ripped off (in Cuban terms) for the second ride, I soon became glad we didn’t reach our destination. We were about to have a rare experience. Continue reading →
Featuring Misti Volcano, Arequipa’s coat of arms on the main plaza’s southern portal, Portal de la Municipalidad
Arequipa, Peru’s second city and location of its Constitutional Court was home base for a significant part of my trip. Its mild climate, manageable size, affordability, world heritage-listed historic centre, volcano backdrop and South America’s best food made the city a great place to stay. I also met Rocío here. Continue reading →
Like Istanbul is for Turkey, Karachi is the financial, transport and trade capital, and a former administrative capital of Pakistan. However, unlike Istanbul, Karachi is not Pakistan’s tourist capital (that is Lahore).
Hani’s family company is involved in trade via Karachi’s two main ports.
Karachi is a vast, sprawling city. The weather was mild during the day and occasionally chilly at night. Many coconut palms displayed their fruits and eagles plied the air.
Surprisingly, on 2 or 3 different occasions I saw transvestites street walking in the evening.