A Trip to Cuba

Enjoying one of Cuba's famous cigars

There’s a new article up on GoNOMAD by an anonymous author about a trip to Cuba. Though Cuba is still under Communist control, it is possible for Americans to get there, but you have to go through Canada or Britain, just to name two possibilities. It is illegal, however, to spend American dollars there. Here’s a selection from the article.

By way of a nearly empty freeway I turned my rental car toward the Bay of Pigs, a mere hundred miles from Havana, easy to navigate once free from the chaos of the big city.

The Bay of Pigs is a highlight if you love seafood, diving with shockingly near-modern equipment, easy snorkeling, and gorgeous bathtub waters crammed with coral and colorful sea life.

Next to a dive site halfway down the 15-mile (25 kilometer) bay sits a spectacular cenote, limestone sinkhole connected to the sea where you can snorkel your heart out.

Lobster is legally available only in government licensed restaurants costing about $15, but on a Bay of Pigs beach you can feast for five bucks.

Seafood is a welcome respite from the monotony of Cuban food, which consists of roast pig served with glutinous globs of pig fat, unpalatable pizza (except a single variety identified early on), and decent rice with black beans.

Always specify cerdo sin gordo (pig without fat) in the sandwich, available everywhere for 20 cents US, and enjoy palatable piggy.

The locals subsist on this fare because they have no disposable income. The average salary is set by the government at $15 a month, which under UN standards relegates Cubans to direst poverty.

They escape this fate, however, because two essentials of life are free: education resulting in a 97% literacy rate and universal health care, both of which rank well above the world median.

But this is all the revolution achieved, except rations of two kilos of sugar and rice a month, and four eggs, per person.

Otherwise the Cubans enjoy no human rights and are bored senseless without mad money, doomed to hustle from birth ‘til death, sitting on porches practicing family values.

You can read the rest of this article on this intriguing country at GoNOMAD.com