Monday, 21 March 2011

Havana, Cuba. 8th March 2011

Well, another one crossed off the 'bucket list'; cruising around Havana in an open top '56 Buick with a big cigar. Shame I don't smoke. This laid-back, run-down city has real character. 'La revolucion' seems a long way off as the aggressive US blockade has inflicted real hardship on the people. God bless America.

Sipping mojito's in the garden of the Hotel Nacional de Cuba gets the bird list off to a stuttering start; Mourning Dove, Palm Warbler, Peregrine, Cuban Blackbird and the ever-present Turkey Vulture. However, the coastal promenade, the Malacon, is more interesting. This is where young Cubans strut their stuff nightly, in front of the crumbling colonial buildings. By day, Laughing Gull, American Herring Gull, Royal Tern, Magnificent Frigate Birds and squadrons of Brown Pelicans zip past at close range.

An evening drinking daiquiri's at Hemingway's bar and then with the magnificent oldies of the Buena Vista Social Club growling out the tunes with double gusto. Fantastic. Up early, head south to Zapata.

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