Saturday, March 01, 2003

Holguin Airport 02:00. 09:00 in the UK. The plane stops here to drop offsome of the passengers then it picks up people for a domestic flight to Havana. There is an hour stop over so everyone leaves the plane. I walk onto the runway Cuba! It is really warm and very humid it's also raining but it is like taking a shower, it's Cuban rain as welll so I don't care. As I entre the waiting room military looking people hand out passes so we can all get back on the plane. At Holguin there is a waiting room, foyer, a few shops and a bar. I make my way to the bar and order my first (of many this holiday) real Mojito. It is good strong and hits the spot.After another one I take a walk around. In one of the shops I see hundreds of bottles of Havana Club Run (El Ron de Cuba). There are lots of good things on sale but they will have to wait until the end of my stay. I make a mental note. Clutching a bag of garlic flavour Cuban crisps I get back on board the DC10 and we are off once more heading for Havana (3am).
12:05 UK time 07:05 Cuban time. I am one hour and fifteen minutes from Holguin. I had some really strange reservations about leaving this afternoon but now I am approaching the land of Fidel and Che, the missile crisis (almost WWIII 40 years ago) and the Mojito I am overtaken by a rush of adrenaline.I will walk on the land Che walked on! Cuba here I come. Although now I am very tiredI am also very excited and it is this that is keeping me awake... how can I sleep? The Miami coast is 90 miles away and the USA has a major blockade on this small Caribbean Island. What a word we live in. Mad or what?

Friday, February 28, 2003

After a two hour delay (this would turn out to be great news for a fellow traveller) I took to the skiesat around 16:15. I had by now changed seats twice so people could sit together and I now found myself in an isle seat which was a bonus! Here I go then nine hours to Holguin the first stop in Cuba. As I spped on my way my mind turns as to why I am on my own. I had already planned and booked my holiday before meeting my girlfrined. I had asked her to come with me but it was not possible. There were three other friends who had expressed the will to come owth me. Two of them could not make it the other an argumentative, cantankerous git of whom I had no desire to spend my dream holiday with was not told of my no you have got to know him really. So here I am on my own and looking forward to every day.
Simon dropped me off in good time so I could check in and chill out before the flight. I put my luggage thriugh the check in and was told that my hand luggage was over weight. Luckily I had packed a small ruck sack and had to turn the bag out and decant some of it's contents, my CD player, note book, reading book and Spanish dictionary (better late than never). I put my soft bag on to the conveyer belt to follow my suitcase into the belly of the Cubana DC10 to probably get pulped en route. I had the pleasure while changing planes in Dalles a few years back on the way to Canada of watching the Dallas baggage handlers throw and kick my suit case from th ehold of one plane to the other. So that why things get broken!
After one last run around the shops picking up those last few holiday items and re-stocking the fridgde with beer for my return I paced the living room (as I do when waiting for people) waithing for my friend Simon to pick me up and take me to Gatwick. Luckily my girlfriend Eleonore had left for Bristol the day before so was not here to witness my manic last few hours in the UK.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Well here goes. This journal is subtitled RANT IN HAVANA. It was written in my note book for the two weeks I was in Cuba starting from 07:09:02.