La Aventura with Patti & James

06 July 2018 | Faial Island –Atlantic Portugal
24 June 2018 | National Holiday day in Faial
22 June 2018 | afternoon whale watching boat trip
20 June 2018 | an enjoyable day trip to another island.
19 June 2018 | Fabulous Faial. – Azorean Island
18 June 2018 | Faial Island – Horta Harbour - Mid Atlantic
29 May 2018 | Mid Atlantic - in the middle of nowhere
26 May 2018 | the cruising yachtsman’s haven
25 May 2018 | party day in Hamilton
10 May 2018 | Vero Beach/Ft Pierce –road trip to Jacksonville.
12 April 2018 | Vibeke onboard
17 March 2018 | lovely to return to Belize and Mexico and meet up with sailing friends along the way
24 January 2018 | I have become so interested in Guatemala textiles
17 January 2018 | So great to catchup with so many friends and our families
01 November 2017 | what a wonderful Guatemalan fiesta to experience
29 October 2017 | Volcanic crater
28 October 2017 | Antiqua - Guatemala

CUBA – our final tourist day in Havana

17 June 2015 | following the Hemingway trail.
what a wonderful stay in Havana

WEDNESDAY 17th - The other yachties had recommended the Marinas laundry service - so as we were leaving tomorrow - I packed up all our laundry and took it over to the main facilities area. Yes they would wash, dry and fold our 2 loads and have everything ready by 4pm - all for 10CUC - much more expensive than in Cienfuegos - but well worth it.

There was just SO much more to see and do in Havana, and sadly today was going to be our last day to explore. I had decided that today we be our 'Hemingway' day.
Ernest Hemingway first rented a villa on the southwest coast in 1939 and officially moved to Cuba in 1940 and lived here continuously for 20 years, before moving back to Key West in Florida. It seems that Hemingways love for Cuba is about the only thing the 2 countries have successfully communicated and cooperated on over the years. Hemingways villa is now a museum. This home and its contents were left by him to the Cuban people. In 2002 Cuba agreed to a US funded project to digitalize the literary treasure trove documents stored in the Villas basement. Since 2006 11,000 private documents are now held in the JFK Presidential Library.

Hemingway liked a drink... and apparently frequented many of the Hotel Bars and small restaurants in and around Havana. El Floridita - meaning 'little Florida' is just one of those places. The faded pink corner bar/restaurant in Old Havana is now a real tourist trap. It promotes itself as the home of the Daiquiri - one of the bartenders invented this grapefruit based drink soon after WWI, but it was Papa Hemingway who popularised it. We ventured inside to find it totally packed with American tourists and a waiting list for a table.... so not for us at 10CUC per drink - but it was worth a quick look at the various photos and memorabilia around the walls.

Our next bar crawl (and we hadn't had a drink yet) was to La Bodeguita del Medio. This is one of Havanas Old Citys most celebrated bars - along with Hemingway some of its other past famous visitors have included Fidel himself, Harry Belafonte and Nat King Cole. This small bar IS covered in graffiti - it is allowed to follow the tradition of its former past famous visitors and leave your autograph on the walls. The street-fronted bar had a 5 piece band playing wonderful Cuban classics, and people were dancing in the street outside, creating a great atmosphere. We perched ourselves inside on a high bar stool in the small bar and tried to make our 1 Cuban white rum mojito last as long as we could to take in the music and people watch. Couples and small groups of tourists just like us came and went - some ventured along the narrow corridor into the restaurant. It was great to watch the bartender line up 12 glasses at a time, crush the mint, add the white sugar and rum and then when ordered top the glasses with ice and soda water.

Goodbye Havana... we needed to get back to the Marina - with things to do to get ready to leave. Our visas were good until 20th June - so hopefully all will work out and we can leave tomorrow, but have a day or 2 to spare just incase.
The bus stop was in the small village, just a short walk from the marina entrance - and we were able to buy some bread, and the government shop had large bags of crackers available - we could do our final peso shopping. We went across to the Hotel to get some weather info from the internet - all looks OK to leave for tomorrow. Our laundry was ready at 4pm - and then we were off to do our final CUC shopping at the minimart in the Marina complex. We were able to buy some lunch meat and cheese and spend our final CUC's on drinks.

James went to the Marina office to complete our leaving paperwork and have our electricity and water meters read so we could get an early start for tomorrow morning.

THURSDAY 18 -getting away from the dock took longer than expected, with paying the bill, getting fuel and our last inspection by customs and immigration before we are issued with our exit papers. We had a cracking sail making good speed for our passage across the Florida Straits and towards Miami.
Vessel Name: La Aventura
Crew: James & Patti

Who: James & Patti