Now that I am settling down after an extended trip of South East Asia, my mind has already commenced to wander to another corner of the world.
Like Cambodia, tourism in Cuba has been steadily growing, pipping the sugar industry to the post. Like Cambodia, the Cuba’s economy is slowly trying to get back on its feet, which had seen the worst, especially after the disintegration of the USSR.
Let us focus on travel now. Politics is pretty at times and can leave the general public seriously impacted.
My mind, as I said wanders, to go to Cuba, while I chew on a piece of the Palm Sugar I had brought back from Cambodia. I am sure the mind (or is it my heart?) made the intricate connections and equated my craving for sweets to Cuba, once one of the largest producer of Sugar.
So what does a holiday in Cuba include?
Definitely it’s all year round pristine beaches. If you are into hiking, probably Sierra Maestra would be on your list as well. Probably the first stop would be to Havana. Years of protected policies have not diminished its sheen. The old city is very Europeanesque (If that’s the word I am looking for), with its old churches and buildings.
Then a walk along the water front for beautiful sunset, smoking Cuban cigars (not me of course 🙂 but I might try my hand at rolling one! ).
Of course the all pervading lively Cuban music that’s a fusion of Spanish and African music.
I am somewhat intrigued by what’s called Tourism Apartheid, which makes it illegal for locals to mix with tourists. Many of the island nation’s most beautiful areas are off limits to its own citizens. These places are known as ‘tourist enclaves’. It caused disparity in income. I am told that taxi drivers and musicians earned a lot more through tips from tourists as compared to even doctors and lawyers !
It sounds so archaic. May be you people out there can tell me if it is still the case.
Well, Cuba will have to wait (sweet or no sweet) till they allow free mixing of people. My mixing with people is not restricted to just taxi drivers. Meeting and talking with people has always been one of the important reasons for me to travel.
For those of you who have been calling me, I am still to plan a trip to the Americas and the Caribbeans. 😛