Day 4: Heading to Vinales with taxi Colectivos ( Old Classic/Fake American cars)

Its 12 noon and my day have been entertaining already, so far I’m in completely different town in Cuba. Have spent 3 hours in old Cuban classic car and managed to  discover that toilets have no toilet paper and they are disgusting.

Cuba best cars

Welcome to Cuba

But lets start from beginning. I woke up 6:30 Am and packed all the belongings that I have. Last night at Madalyn’s casa particular in Havana seemed bit noisy and felt like mosquitoes were biting me all the night trough, but when I switched lights on there were no mosquitoes at all. Again, I wrapped myself in white bed sheets and lay on my side facing balcony with silky curtains. I could hear people passing by building and singing songs in Spanish. Still could not believe i have been here 4 days already since leaving Cayman islands . I managed to fall asleep at about 3 Am.

 

Back to the morning. It was time to eat some breakfast that owner of Casa particular prepared. Breakfast included eggs, coffee with milk, fresh bananas and other fruit, sweet bread, and fresh mango juice. All was set in living room by owner. Easier to get breakfast in Casa then try to buy food in streets as i discovered on my day 2 .

 

After breakfast car was waiting downstairs. I arranged my transportation to Vinales a day before while i was wondering around Havana. Madalyn got a call from driver and said its just around the corner. I walked downstairs last time in this little Havana Vieja Casa particular.4 days well spent.

American / Cuba / Russian cars

Around the corner was a sky blue 1957 ford. Inside seats were with cream flower print. Front panel looked like any other Russian car with rust all around, just covered up with carpets. And by the way engine in car is from old Russian cars. Non or the old American cars have original engines.

 

There is a joke in Cuba :

-Question: How to say Shit in Russian?

-Answer: Moskvich!

Joke is because all the cars have Russian engines as they are cheaper and easier to fix.

Driver did not speak English until end of the ride I found out that his name is Henry(That’s what I call him).Himself he lives  in central Havana and does this trip every day  once . 3 Hours to Vinales and 3 hours back. This car there are 5 passenger spaces and driers space (Henry) .Me, Henry and 4 French girls. We started to drive out of Havana and the the views of city were really stunning. In traffic we would pass other cars with all kinds of colors, shapes and sizes, but all filled with tourists mostly. Few would be filled with locals, but in that case cars would be completely full with no space to move at all.

 

Drive Havana to Vinales Is 3 hours long .All the way there French girls were talking to each other in French and ignored me and driver completely. We took a break spot after 1,5 hour and it was toiler break. I walked to side of the building and could see 2 ladies sitting in front of door , holding toilet paper in hand and having little dish next to them with coins. As they were trying to make money. Each person (Tourist ) would pay anything from 0,50 to 1 CUC .(Cubans make about 25 CUC a month).So if you think about this toilet money , they make pretty good salary there. Every tourist pays 0,50CUC . About 30 tourists in a day. 30 times 0,50= 15 CUC a day . That’s half in one day of what doctors makes in a month. Not a bad business plan.

And toilets are dirty , messy , flashing  does not work and the tiny toilet paper they give you before you enter is not enough  to clean even  toilet seat not even to clean yourself. I hope you will have plenty of toilet paper with you or as i had – wet wipes.

img_20160804_111043

Other car smoking in front of us!

After my toilet break and coffee I spoke with French girls a little bit and found out that they are visiting Cuba for 3 weeks. Every day is already planned from their Lonely Planet guide book (That every single tourist have and every one follow it like a bible to guide them)

 

We arrived at 11:30 in Vinales. On the last hour car was in front of us was smoking insane black smoke cloud so everyone covered their faces with towels.  He brought us to the center of Vinales(That’s was 3 streets in town and that’s all )

 

At the end I can say that American cars look pretty from outside, but are not as pretty from inside and to spent 3 hours in one of them are ok, but not ideal. But I guess better than bus, that takes 4 hours for the same distance

This is day 4 from 14 days in Cuba that i did .

 

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3 thoughts on “Day 4: Heading to Vinales with taxi Colectivos ( Old Classic/Fake American cars)

    • Hello mstevensphotography ! You are right. Viazul buses a nice ,but it seems that Everytime I used longer distance buses were very tiny .I’m tall ,but not a giant.Bus buses after 8 hours felt really painful. But short distances were great!

      Like

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