Havana - Money problems, Wifi parks and deadly mojitos.
14.11.2015 - 16.11.2015
Our flight from Cancun to Havana was slightly tainted with the worry of possibly having zero money. You see, Australian bank cards are difficult if not impossible to use in Cuba, through the advise of a friend, we each got an Australian Post Office Pre-Paid Visa card.
However, in a haze of Red Wine, Thai food and packing for the next day, we overlooked the 'Important Info' part in order to finalise the card.
Realising this at Cancun Airport 40 minutes before our flight and out of order ATMS were not ideal.
Met by a relatively basic airport in Havana, the most interesting part was the female Customs Officers in their military uniforms paired with an array of fishnet stockings and hooker heels.
Stepping outside you are overcome by a feeling of having travelled back in time. Pre-Revolutionary cars sharing the road with horse and cart, the beautiful architecture all over the country and the refreshing lack of everybody glued to social media.
The lack of everyone of facebook is purely because of the Cuban internet setup. There is only wifi in the hotels and 'wifi parks'. You go to the park, buy from either a reputable store or a slightly seedy looking fellow; a pre-loaded internet card. You then scratch the back to get the passcode and you are good to go. The best part of this was just visiting the wifi park, sometimes 2 hundred people scattered throughout the parks, skyping family overseas, investigating the rest of the world and the occasional guy downloading dirty films. This made fixing our money problems that much harder but that much more interesting.
A word of advice, if travelling to Cuba, be prepared when it comes to money. Australian Visa, Mastercard and any other bank cards apparently do not work! Get an Australian Post Office Visa (please make sure to read the instructions properly) and lots of Euros. You will have to wait in a long line to exchange this but much less of a hassle than being penniless in this surprisingly expensive to travel country.
Once on Cuban soil, our top priority to burn off the stress, was finding a Mojito and at $1.50CUC you couldn’t got wrong. Needless to say, we spent some time at this bar. Especially after one of the bartenders took a shine to us and triple poured everything!