Exploring Cuba (Photo Feature)

November 6, 2016 | Print Print |

Photo feature by Alberto N. Jones

Desenbocadura del Rio Toa, Baracoa

Desenbocadura del Rio Toa, Baracoa

 

HAVANA TIMES — The chance to travel across Cuba is an extraordinary experience, where you have the opportunity to take in the unrivaled beauty of its valleys, rivers and mountains which enchanted Cristobal Colon and the many people who visit our country.

It’s also equally important to get in touch with our people and their one of a kind character, who in spite of the difficulties and shortages that they may face, remain friendly and ready to help anyone with a permanent smile on their face.  Peace, tranquility and safety which don’t exist in the rest of the world, make up, to some extent, for some of the negative aspects that persevere here.

Traveling across the country allows us to see the significant achievements we’ve had in preserving our history in busts, parks, memorials and museums, art and culture breathe even in the most remote places in our country and popular recreational spaces are widespread, as well as in conserving the environment and teaching us a sense of national belonging.

Vista aérea de Baracoa, Hotel Castillo

Vista aérea de Baracoa, Hotel Castillo

However, the critical financial position of any average Cuban, doesn’t allow them to enjoy these things. Different institutions in Cuba don’t promote national tourism as much as they should. Shortages of transportation and food as well as road conditions make it impossible for the majority of citizens to be able to enjoy this country.

Human flaws can also be clearly seen when traveling. Like a ruined countryside, the demolition of sugar plants so they can be converted into human cementeries, the government’s silence while masterpieces are being destroyed such as the majestic Farola highway by the traffic of heavyweight vehicles while Baracoa Port remains closed.

The dreadful highways and paths destroy everything that travels along them. There aren’t enough places to relax, bathe and eat which works against our best intentions to get to know the country.

Let this photo feature (taken before last month’s destructive Hurricane Matthew) serve to introduce us to a small part of our country’s virtues and give us some of the reasons why we would want to defend, report and demand that this negligence be resolved, which is especially detrimental for future generations.

Memorial Un Ritchie en Cuba, Cayoguin, Baracoa

Memorial Un Ritchie en Cuba, Cayoguin, Baracoa

 

Click on the thumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery


What's your opinion?

  • bjmack

    Spectacular photos, thanks much.

  • emagicmtman

    Thanks for sharing your fotos, Alberto! Playa Maguana is one of my favorites, too. Spent a pleasant day there after an hour-and-a-half ride from Baracoa, around all the pot holes to that beach. Had a pleasant meal at the rustic restaurant run by a family of guajiros the other side of a dirt track a hundred yards back from the beach. Loved Baracoa! I spent almost a week there before heading back to Santiago and a 15-hour ride back to Habana on the “Tren Frances.” Some of your scenes from Bayamo are also familiar from earlier visits (in 2006 and 2010). On some trips I rented a car (like the Chinese Gleely(?), and also a tiny “Atos”) Unlike the U.S., however, the auto rental prices in Cuba are excessive ($350/week+ a $350 “security deposit” plus all sorts of other fees) that during the last few visits I just go to where the taxis hang out and, after bargaining, hire a car and driver to take me to the next town or province. Found this to be much less than renting, plus I don’t have to worry about the car being damaged, accessories being stolen, accidents, etc.
    Thanks again for sharing your pictures.