David Coveney

First Impressions in Cuba

If you fly with First Choice on their Cuba West Traveller scheme they give you your first night’s accomodation free. The idea, we think, is that in Cuba you can’t just turn up as a typical itinerant and expect to wander about. Of course, that’s exactly what you can do… You just need to give an address of a hotel. It seems that any random hotel name will work as there are no checks.

But even better is, after a bumpy ten hour flight, to discover that this hotel is a five star all inclusive affair. Nothing beats the realisation when you arrive at the bar that they don’t want your money. Everything is included. A few hours later, drunk and happy, we decided to stay an extra night while we planned the rest of our trip.

And now, in a couple of hours, we have to find our bus to Havana. It may be tropical here, but we’re taking warm clothes as we’ve discovered that when a Cuban gets air conditioning there is only one setting… 16C. After all, if you have air-con you may as well make the most of it. You enter your hotel room to an icy draught. Cars are super-chilled, and basically you find that your UK clothing is just fine and dandy.

Ta-ta for now….