Jennifer and I spent over a week in Cuba, dividing our time between Havana and the Vinales Valley. The Cuban people were very friendly, though always looking for ways to make a few dollars to supplement their meagre incomes. Havana is a visually rich city, though so poor that this once grand city is falling apart. It has a tragic post-apocalyptic feel to it, providing some amazing photographic opportunities. Despite the paucity of funds, heroic efforts are being made to restore Old Havana before it’s too late. I would also add that we felt perfectly safe roaming the streets of Old Havana at night.
The Vinales Valley is a spectacularly beautiful region of karst formations, rich red soil, and crops of sugar cane, tobacco, and many tropical fruits. Most of the technology we saw was so basic we felt as if we were in a time warp going back a hundred years.
Cuba is complex and inscrutable; filled with contradictions and ironies, and causes the thoughtful visitor to reflect on how we impact, and are perceived by, our Cuban hosts.