Viva la revolución!
From landing in Havana it was off the wall. After a long customs check, we wandered around the airport for about and hour trying to find a cab to our accommodation. Finally out of nowhere appeared a cab driver, smooth talker speaking great English. We know we were going to be conned by this guy, he was so smooth, but it was late and getting dark, tired from 30 hours of travel, we let ourselves fall into the web. He smooth talked us all the way to the accommodation which ended in being 30 minutes out of Havana, a drive, but a place to stay. Mimmo the cab driver over shared his personal life and everything else with us, but he seemed cool and then also arranged that his brother would collect us in the morning to help with the rest of our needs, renting a car shopping and showing us the local “ropes”. He kept to his word, as well as ripping us with a bill of 10 times what we found out we could get things for later, but that was written off the one and only lesson on this journey.
The next day his brother arrives in an old Buick to take us on a city tour as well as help us with a rental car and all the supplies we needed. More lessons on the dos and don’t in Cuba (if we had taken his advice, we would definitely be doing 18 months in a local jail). We nearly started with a disaster when we found out there were no more cars to rent, but somehow we managed to rent the company’s pool car, the size of a Smart car, you can imagine, gear for 2 months packed in as well as Andy and I on top of this as it was the only way we could get to the start. A drive to Guantanamo which we estimated would take 12 hours, due to road conditions and detours, we arrived 3 days later.
The endless drive down had a few challenges, where to sleep, camp and eat, nothing was like we expected and the other issue was our Spanish was non-existent. We then met up with an incredible Cuban family on day to down to the start. Juan and his wife made us coffee invited us into their home and made sure that we ate. We were cooked fried green bananas with salt. Best meal in a while. We headed out with gifts of coffee, banana and boiled water as there is a cholera outbreak in the area. Finally, leaving his village to Guantanamo, we found a shop with basics, the shop was especially for tourists only, priced out of this world and very limited in stock, but enough for the first few days. The best news was that the trip to our start was now an hour drive away. There was one thing that became more and more noticeable; it was getting as hot as hell down here. What a pleasure it is to know that we are finally able to start this epic journey. This is going to be one crazy run, Viva the Revolution.