Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New York!

So we made it to New York, and, of course, absolutely loved it! We stayed near the West Village so did a LOT of walking around, ate great food, saw a lot of bridges and buildings and tourist attractions... We also sampled lots of beer, as there are a ton of microbreweries around the New York area... We found everyone to be extremely welcoming and friendly, so can't wait to get back there one day and spend more time in the city!

Monday, January 23, 2012


We left Cuba's beautiful warm weather for -15 in Toronto!
It was a temperature and culture shock after 3 months in South and Central America... we didn't take many photos because we were too cold! But we walked around the city, managed to get lost, bought warm clothes and ate delicious food...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cuba- the cars...

Ok, so we managed to capture some of the magic of Cuba and have loads more photos that we just don't have time to put up. What our photos didn't manage to capture  was the underlying desperation of the Cuban people. The average income of the people of Cuba is approximately $15 a month. This with the combination of the local inflation (often due to the rise in tourist numbers) is making it very hard for the average Cuban to buy basic necessities. Often when the money is available to make certain purchases of such items as food, medication, and basic household needs, the products are simply not available and transport to nearby towns is expensive and very hard to get, as there is such a limited number of cars and virtually no public transport. It makes you wonder what Che Guevara had envisaged in 1959 when he and Fidel led the rebellion to free the people of Cuba. I imagine that what has become of Cuba and it's people would have Che wondering if the country was left in the right hands and whether there is something that could be done to help a country full of amazing, welcoming people. There definitely is a sense that the younger generation of Cubans are beginning to question the country's ideals. They are educated, eager to work and learn and be connected to the rest of the world. It seems that they now feel they should be allowed to travel without written permission from the government, not give up 90% of their crops and earnings in tax and maybe see some money filter down from top of what clearly does not seem to be a very good example of "communism" or "socialism" or whatever they want to call it. Anyway thanks to the people of Cuba for having us in your country and your homes, good luck with whatever it is that needs to be done to get it back on track... I'll leave you with some pics of the colourful cars still rolling on the streets of Cuba, but know there is a lot more going on in Cuba than most of us get to see or hear, Viva la Cuba!!!!!!!!
(posted by Sam)


So Cuba was intense... incredible poverty, a dual currency pegged to the US dollar, beautiful beautiful landscapes and beaches, the crazy falling down buildings, the old school cars and the Floridita (Ernest Hemingway's favourite place for a daiquiri) .... Of course there were dramas getting into the country.. and leaving the country.. it was definitely a Christmas, a 27th Birthday and a New Years to remember....

My favourite day was on Boxing Day, when we arrived in Vinales to go horse riding through a tobacco plantation, learned how to roll cigars, drank rum cocktails out of coconuts at 10 in the morning,and finally, went swimming in a cave before seeing Cuba's favourite reggaton band Osmani Garcia...

(Posted by Felicity)