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(Transatur bus.)
MODERN `YUTONG' BUSSES MADE IN CHINA
SMOOTH, QUIET, COMFORTABLE

BUS - FROM CAYO SANTA MARIA TO LA HABANA

I was hoping to rent a car but the cost was prohibitive plus I was planning to catch a cruise ship out of Havana so the car would have been sitting in a parking spot for a week.

Most major tourist hotels have three or more desks, or counters, in the main lobby or a small office off the lobby.

There will be your main desk that is open 24/7 for check in, or out.

Then there will be the airline representatives such as; Air Canada, Sunwing, Westjet, etc. which are usually only open in the morning.

Also, in the morning only, will be the rep. from the hotel who will book your dinner, or other reservations.

And, somewhere you will find a travel rep. who will book you on: an excursion, a tour, or a local; airplane, bus, or train.

The lady, in the Starfish, represented everything Cuban.

I believe the company is called Transgaviota.

Doesn't matter, it is the same company that owns the hotels which is to say, the Cuban Government.

It was her that told me about, and sold me the ticket to, the festival at the market 25cuc.

She also told me that if I came back from my touring early and needed a night or two at the hotel, before my flight, she could arrange that for 92cuc per night.

She arranged for my ticket for the bus to La Habana for 30cuc.

Author's note: Picture quality is not good as I was unable to shoot through the windshield so there is movement distortion and reflections in the side window.

(Pic. of Man sitting beside stop sign.)
THE DRIVER TOLD US THAT THE 3 MOST POPULAR PASTIMES IN CUBA ARE; DRINKING RUM, SMOKING CIGARS, AND HITCHHIKING
(Pic. of Yellow cabin on stilts in jungle.)
?
(Pic. of Wing of modern building.)
FURTHER WEST THERE ARE MORE RESORTS
(Pic. of People in lobby.)
THE BUS STOPS AT EACH ONE THAT HAS SOMEONE WAITING,
WHICH IS WHY YOU HAVE TO BOOK A DAY IN ADVANCE
(Pic. of Open water beside highway with island.)
WE CROSS A COUPLE OF SHORT CAUSEWAYS BETWEN RESORTS
(Pic. of Tops of buildings above jungle.)
EVEN FURTHER WEST IS MORE CONSTRUCTION, NEW RESORTS
AND IT LOOKS LIKE HABITATION FOR THE LOCALS
(Pic. of Open water with boat wharves.) (Pic. of Open water, small islands, sail boats.)
(Pic. of Wing of new hotel.) (Pic. of People in lobby.)
(Pic. of Open water, buildings and jungle in distance) (Pic. of cranes in construction site.)

The causeway took some ten years to build.

The main part of the causeway is 38 Km long and is comprised of 36 bridges.

Much of it had to be rebuilt and repaved after hurricane Irma.

(Pic. of Open water beside highway.) (Pic. of Looking through windshield, highway and open water on both sides.)
(Pic. of House at intersection.) (Pic. of House behind stone wall.)
(Pic. of Houses on edge of town.) (Pic. of Horse drawn taxi at stop sign.)
A VERY COMMON TYPE OF TAXI IN CUBA
(Pic. of Big sign with name of city.) (Pic. of Big stone crab at town entrance.)
VERY SIMILAR TO THE CRAB AT THE ENTRANCE TO CARDENAS,
(Just East of Varadero)
(Pic. of Houses and yards. People sitting under a tree.) (Pic. of Houses.)
(Pic. of Empty street but for one jaywalker.) (Pic. of Large field, 1 white horse and one brown.)
(Pic. of Intersection.)
ON RAMP TO THE FREEWAY
(Pic. Looking through the windshield at vehicles on a freeway.)
HIGHWAY 1 TO LA HAVANA
(Pic. of Figure of waiter - sign along hwy.)
AT KM 132 WE STOPPED FOR A BREAK
(Pic. of Bus parked at roadside stop.)
(Pic. of Souvenir shop.) (Pic. of Large cage built around a tree, several parakeets.)
(Pic. of Turtles in a pan without water.) (Pic. of Turtles in a pan with water.)
Click on the above picture for a short video.
(Pic. of A stuffed alligator wearing a hat.) (Pic. taken from the center of the freeway.)
OUT OF THE RAIN, INTO THE NIGHT
(Pic. of Flames along side of freeway.)
BURNING OFF CROPS
(Pic. of Lookingthrough trees at flames.)
THE SMOKE WAS SO THICK THE DRIVER COULD BARELY SEE THE ROAD

We had a roundabout tour of the city while we stopped at several hotels.

I was one of the last passengers to get off.

So I had a nice, nighttime tour of the city.

The bus dropped me at the Melia Cohiba Hotel which was only a few blocks from the Casa Particular where I would be staying.

I was met at the hotel by Oscar (pronounced oh scar) the owner of the Casa Oscar.

END

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    (Transgaviota bus.)
    A SLIGHTLY SMALLER BUS, EASIER TO NAVIGATE THE TIGHT INTERSECTIONS IN THE CITY

    BUS - FROM LA HAVANA TO CIENFUEGOS

    Both the trip North and the trip South took about the same time (6hr).

    The price going South was slightly less - 22cuc as compared to 30.

    There is a story about that, that I will put with the pictures in my Havana section.

    Where we toured the city after dark on the way North, on the way South we toured Havana in the daylight.

    We had pickups at several small hotels on very narrow streets.

    (Pic. of Interiot of front of bus.)
    THE DRIVER KEPT THE SUN VISORS LOW WHICH OBSCURED MY FRONTAL VISION
    (Pic. of Field and side road.)
    (Pic. of Trucks in a worksite.) (Pic. of work site.)
    (Pic. of Field with cattle.)
    WONDER IF THOSE ARE ANGUS CATTLE?
    (Pic. of Tall trees, field and strange tower.)
    TO THE RIGHT OF THE TALL TREES IS A TABLE SHAPED STRUCTURE
    I NOTICED SEVERAL OF THEM?
    (Pic. of Clouds.) (Pic. of Field with horses.)
    HORSES
    (Pic. of Farm and field of crop.) (Pic. of Roadside rest area.)
    (Pic. of Farm buildings.) (Pic. of Roadside service station.)

    On the way North we stopped at mile 132.

    On the way South we turned off at mile 142 and went West a bit to a little rest area.

    (Pic. of 2 old wagon wheels in a back yard.) (Pic. of Some buildings and a field.)
    WE PASSED THROUGH A SMALL VILLAGE
    (Pic. of A house and a dirt road.) (Pic. of A sidewalk and some houses.)
    (Pic. of Bus beside a thatched roof restaurant.)
    La CURVITA
    (Pic. of People around the restaurant.)
    (Pic. of Close up of sign on front of restaurant) (Pic. of my lunch on a tall wood table.)
    TOASTED CLUBHOUSE SANDWICH AND A GLASS OF LEMONADE
    (Pic. of Horse and carriage with passengers.) (Pic. of Highway and houses.)
    (Pic. of Fields and farm.) (Pic. of Field of sugar cane.)
    YOUNG SUGAR CANE
    (Pic. of Field with cattle.) (Pic. of Dirt side street,houses.)
    (Pic. of ploughed and divided fields.)
    RICE PADDIES WAITING FOR PLANTING
    (Pic. of Divided fields under water.)
    FLOODED RICE PADDIES
    (Pic. of Divided fields under water.)
    FLOODED RICE PADDIES
    (Pic. of Muddy divided fields.)
    FRESHLY HARVESTED RICE PADDIES
    (Pic. of small house behind trimmed hedges.) (Pic. of field of shugar cane.)
    (Pic. of industrial site.)
    INDUSTRIAL SITE ON THE ROAD INTO CIENFUEGOS
    (Pic. of field with horses.)

    END

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    (1080 Lada.)
    1980 LADA

    TAXI - FROM CIENFUEGOS TO SNU AT SANTA CLARA

    When I got off the bus in Cienfuegos I was met by a cab driver holding a sign with my name, courtesy of my hotel.

    Roberto's cab was a pedal bicycle.

    A couple of days later, when I was at the bus depot checking on prices I bumped into Roberto, who introduced me to his amigo Daniel who said he had a car taxi and would take me to the airport for 40 cuc.

    When I was preparing to leave the hotel, the manager told me her son-in-law was a cab driver and he would give me a ride to the airport for 35cuc.

    Though his English was as limited as my Spanish we had a very convivial trip.

    (Pic. of highway.)
    LEAVING CIENFUEGOS
    (Pic. of buildings and trucks.)
    ONE OF THOSE STRANGE TOWERS THAT I POINTED OUT
    ON THE ROAD FROM HAVANA - SEEMS TO BE ONE ON EVEY FARM
    (Pic. of sign over hwy.)
    SANTA CLARA - 60 Km
    (Pic. of farm and rows of crop.)
    (Pic. of truck on edge of field.)
    TRUCK LOAD OF SUGAR CANE WAITING TO ENTER HWY
    (Pic. of hwy. and field of sugar cane through windshield.)
    A FIELD OF SUGAR CANE
    (Pic. of girls hising in the shade of trees at side of hwy.)
    HITCHHIKERS HIDING IN THE SHADE
    (Pic. of main st. in town.)
    WE PASSED THROUGH SEVERAL SMALL TOWNS
    (Pic. of service station.) (Pic. of Houses and buildings along side of st.)
    (Pic. of school children in front of a park.) (Pic. of main street buildings and cars.)
    (Pic. of railway grass covered right of way.) (Pic. of side street vacant but for 1 biciycle and 1 pedicab.)
    (Pic. of street parallels railway.) (Pic. of harvester loads truck with sugar cane.)
    A HARVESTER LOADING A TRUCK WITH SUGAR CANE
    (Pic. of a harvester and a field of sugar cane.) (Pic. of Load of sugar cane leaving a field.)
    (Pic. of a sign over a hedge.) (Pic. of Empty street but for one jaywalker.)
    (Pic. of a couple of horse drawn waggons filled with sacks of cane.) (Pic. a big sign on the side of the highway.)
    HASTA SIEMPRE COMANDANTE
    (so long farewell forever commander)
    (Pic. of quiet street through town.) (Pic. of quiet street through town.)
    (Pic. of colourful houses behind a hedge.) (Pic. of police patrol at intersection.)
    I HADN'T SEEN ANY POLICE DURING MY TRIP
    BUT THIS DAY I SAW SEVERAL
    (Pic. of freeway.)
    FREEWAY INTO SANTA CLARA
    (Pic. of freeway.)
    (Pic. of trees and buildings along side of freeway.) (Pic. of larges sing along side of freeway.)
    WELCOME TO SANTA CLARA
    Desciende a mi ciudad tu ejemplo
    (Pic. of boulevard into Santa Clara.) (Pic. of boulevard through Santa Clara.)
    (Pic. of boulevard into Santa Clara.)
    SMALL BUS FOR WORKERS
    (Pic. of fields beside freeway.)
    (Pic. of freeway above railway tracks.) (Pic. of fields beside freeway.)
    (Pic. of airport terminal arrivals door.)
    SNU
    (Pic. of airport interior, departure lounge.)
    DEPARTURE LOUNGE
    (Pic. of airport apron.)
    APRON
    (Pic. of revetments on the far side of the runway.)
    OLD REVETMENTS - PROBABLY LEFT OVER FROM THE COLD WAR

    END

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