Archive for the ‘Cuba transportation’ Category

My Cuban Adventure Part Three Transporation

January 11, 2016

 

IMG_1714I took a charter plane to Cuba as there is currently no commercial air traffic allowed. This is quite expensive ($540 roundtrip from Miami) and requires long waits. Some of the planes are American (Eastern, American, etc.) We had to check in four hours ahead of time. Baggage was expensive. The charge was by poundage, often including your carry-on.

We landed at the Santa Clara airport, went through customs and got on a beautiful air conditioned bus that took the teams to the two cities. I was surprised that there was little traffic on the highways. We went through mostly rural areas, flat with lush greenery. There were horses with carts or carriages on the same roads.

In Ciego de Avila there was also little auto or bus traffic on the streets. There aren’t enough public conveyances. I saw people, with their hands out with money, on the major highway through town hoping someone would stop and take them to a destination for money. I saw only one auto taxi. There were many pedicycle taxis. A ride in these costs about $2.00 for two people. Since it wasn’t only tourists, but also locals taking these pedicycle rides, I think there was a different price for the local people.

There were also many horse and carriages on the city’s streets. It felt like a trip through time. These cost about $1 per person for a ride. The team took these carriages every night to dinner and then back to the hotel after tutoring at the Community Center.

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There were trains going through town and a station. There were also “dragon” buses. These were two or three buses attached to each other and pulled by a semi. Ramon said they hold more than two hundred passengers, standing.

 

The autos were generally two types: fairly new and vintage. The vintage ones in Ciego de Avila were not for the hobbyist. They were a means of transportation. I sat in Parque Juanita one Sunday at noon to photograph vintage cars that went by. I noticed that about a third of the cars fit into that category.

 

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We rode to Havana in the same wonderful bus. The highway was sparsely traveled. We stopped on the way to see Ernest Hemmingway’s house. These two restored cars were there, but they didn’t belong to Hemmingway.

There were more cars in Havana, but not many by American standards. I saw little yellow three-wheeled taxies.

 

IMG_1537The vintage cars were in better shape in Havana. On Friday night we went for rides in vintage cars that were convertibles. Great fun. These were driven by their proud owners who were members of car clubs.

Until three years ago, houses and cars could not be legally bought or sold. The owners of the cars I met had been in the family. However, a person could buy a car under the table but the registration remained under the name of the original owner until recently.

 

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