I am going to Cuba! That was for the benefit of the two members of the world ‘s 7 billion population I have not already told!
The trip has been arranged by Intrepid Travel the operator that specialises in small group off the beaten track trips. My decision to travel with them was an easy one to make; they fit well with my own philosophy. They believe in responsible travel, respecting both the local culture and environment, offering a number of options from basic to explorer style trips.
When a trip was offered, Cuba was at the top of my list as it is a place I’ve always wanted to visit and feel it will be a great photography destination. Picking ‘The Best of Cuba’ from the options available did not take too much thinking about either. The flights will be automatically carbon offset by them which is a nice bonus.
I am planning to share as much of the trip as possible through social media networks however this will be dependent on the availability of the internet. However look out for the updates on (yes you guessed it) the #ePicCuba hashtag,
Saturday 23rd June 2012
Flying with KLM from Manchester to Havana via Amsterdam
Sunday 24th June 2012
My excitement about strolling around the old city of Havana will probably be hard to express. I can only imagine it will be like a child being in a sweet shop, such has been my anticipation for many years and recent weeks. The unique charm of the city with its boulevards, plazas and the Malecon are all highlights which are already calling my name.
Monday 25th – Wednesday 27th June 2012
Taking a flight to Baracoa to explore its old forts and discover a little of the pirate history of the island. After experiencing some cigar rolling with a Torcedore a stroll along the black sand beaches may include a large Habanos and mojito! I’ll also be brushing up on my rusty Spanish and improving my moves with a salsa lesson; it’s a self-improvement trip.
Thursday 28th & Friday 29th June 2012
Spending sometime in Cuba’s second largest city Santiago de Cuba which is historically so important, central to the Cuban Revolution will be fascinating. The local citadel of San Pedro de la Roca which is UNESCO recognised will be worth visiting for a military architecture experience. However the city is also the birthplace of the salsa dancing, so it will provide an opportunity to put the ‘moves’ into practice. The Sierra Maestra will make a great backdrop for photographing the city centre but it is the Latin nightlife which is likely to be the highlight here.
Saturday 30th & Sunday 1st July 2012
Two days spent in Camaguey should provide plenty of opportunity to relax and recharge batteries, plus gallons of coffee and mojitos for refuelling. Provided my energy levels are sufficiently topped up a trip to the farmers market will be on the cards.
Monday 2nd – Wednesday 4th July 2012
An undoubted highlight of the trip will be the visit to Trinidad. Apart from its wealth of authentic, quaint churches and museums the expanses of the sugar cane plantations in the Valle de los Ingenios should be quite some sight. Of course it’s likely I’ll be found on the beaches with the Playa Ancon close by but probably also putting my dancing shoes back on to give the mambo, cha-cha and rumba a try. I might need to be fast on my feet anyway to keep ahead of the hustlers.
Thursday 5th July 2012
A daytrip to Cienfuegos which is known as the ‘Pearl of the South’ really hope it lives up to the name. Though the pictures I’ve seen of the Palacio del Valle suggest it is likely to.
Friday 6th – Saturday 7th July 2012
A welcome return to Havana to check out the Monumento Ernesto Che Guevera and make a visit to ‘Old Havana’ Habana Veija. There should be plenty of time to have a good explore and find some of the attractions missed first time around including the Partagas cigar factory and it would be rude to miss the Havana Club Rum distillery. Hopefully there will be just enough time to squeeze in a stroll down The Prado in the evening.
Sunday 8th July 2012
Return flight with KLM to Manchester via Paris.
Does this itinerary excite you as much as me? Ok maybe not but I do hope it has you interested enough to follow the trip. Remember that hashtag? Its #ePicCuba.