Our April Expedition just returned from Havana to Miami International Airport. We came through customs fairly quickly, and once again, nobody had any bags opened. Of course there were some glitches (there will always be glitches when traveling in Cuba), but overall everybody seemed to appreciate the many wonderful experiences we had. We changed our schedule a little, and I think I will make this change permanent. On past trips, we left Varadero early in the morning on our last day and rode over 2 hours directly to Havana’s Airport.
This time we left Varadero before noon with the plan to arrive in Havana that evening. This way there would be fewer potential problems, such as mechanical issues with our bus. It would be much easier to get replacement transportation if we were already in Havana, rather than being stranded in the countryside. After we left Varadero, we rode to a beautiful river camp on Rio Canimar. Our driver dropped us off, and we boarded a riverboat to travel upriver several miles into the interior. It was difficult to imagine where the water from such a large river came from, because the land looked flat for many miles to the south. I checked my map and found that the river begins in the mountains in the middle of the island. It has several fairly large tributaries, which combine and flow north through relatively flat territory. After about 40 minutes we arrived at our river park for lunch. It was a beautiful area to relax in.
We got back to in Havana in the early evening and checked into our overnight accommodations. About 8pm, our driver and guide picked us up and took us to what I called our Last Supper” at the Cafe del Oriente. I know the name sounds like a Chinese fast food place, but it turned out to be one of Havana’s most luxurious restaurants, located in the Plaza de San Francisco. After dinner I passed out certificates to all those who participated in our unique health care research expedition.
Now that I’m finally back home, I have a lot of “filling in” to do in my newsletter for this trip. I also have to finalize the details of my next expedition, which departs from Miami in a couple of weeks. My friends are starting to call me the “Cuba Commuter!”