Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Cuba - Playa del Este (part 1)

We're at the beach now and it really is beautiful; white sand, clear water, palm trees, the lot, but... and it feels like quite a big 'but' at the moment... It's raining! We thought we'd sussed the weather - sunny in the morning, downpour at two-ish then clear again afterwards. So I wasn't too impressed this morning when I bounded out in my bikini, ready for my first day of luxuriating, to see the drizzle. Still I'm sure it'll pass, surely?!

Thought I'd shard with you the teachings of our 'Latin American Spanish Phrasebook' in the 'Romance' chapter...

Kiss me - Besame
I want you - Te deseo
Take this off - Sacate esto
Touch me here - Tocame aqui
Do you like this? - Esto to gusta?
I (don't) like that - Esto (no) me gusta
Please stop! - Para!
Please don't stop! - No pares!
Oh my god! - Ay dios que rico!
Oh yeah! - Asi carino, asi!
That's great - Eso, eso.
Easy tiger! - Con calma!

faster - mas rapido
harder - mas fuerte
slower - mas despacio
softer - mas suave

[ a line of butterflies ]

That was amazing - Eso fue increible
It's my first time - Es me primeria vez
I can't get it up, sorry - Lo siento, no puedo levantaria
Don't worry I'll do it myself - No to precupes, lo hago yo
It helps to have a sense of humour - Ayuda tener un sentido de humor


Cuba - Havana

On our second night away, in the early hours of the morning, unable to sleep thanks to jet-lag, there were tears as it finally started to sink in that we really have gone! But we're starting to settle in to the travelling thing now, which is a relief after getting fleeced about five times within the first day and a half of arriving. Fortunately the 'I've-just-stepped-off-the-plane-and-don't-have-a-clue-please-rip-me-off' look seems to have worn off!

We spent three days in Havana, just doing the touristy thing really. We saw the sights, got used to shrugging off the touts, attempted to put our spanish classes into action and tried to make some sense of this crazy place. We went to the national museam about the revolution, which was basically a giant (tatty) shrine to Fidel Castro. I may have seen countless items that Fidel once touched but I still feel pretty clueless as to what it's all about!

There are two currencies used here; one for the locals and one for the tourists (supposedly) but in reality everyone uses both. Prices are really hard to understand because both currencies have the same symbol but are worth completely diferent amounts, and everything seems to be either surprisingly expensive or ridiculously cheap. The tourists are clearly spending a lot of money but it's hard to see where it's going.

We are coming to the conclusion that Cuba is WEIRD! I'm trying to get my head around it but lots of things just don't seem to make any sense. We've seen those things that you always see in the postcards; old American cars, tonnes of musicians, wall to wall cigars, tropical beaches, Che's face all over the place and stuff but then there are all these amazing big beautiful buildings everywhere that are falling down, I mean properly crumbling to pieces.

In Havana the touristy bit is relatively plush but as you walk down the road there's like a line and from that point on it's all really grotty. It's bizzare, no gradual decline but a specific point where suddenly the buildings are half collapsed, the road is more holes than anything else and the rubbish is piled in the street. This, by the way, is the route by which our taxi driver who brought us from the airport on our first day chose to take us. It was pretty bloody scary bouncing down the delapidated narrow alley ways with the driver shouting out the window to find out the way!

Another freaky thing is the food. Or rather lack of it. Since leaving Havana we haven't seen any fresh fruit or veg and in the shops we can't even buy bread, though they do all stock a plentifull supply of rum and beer! For breakfast we've just eaten crackers and honey. That can't be right! We even tried to buy some tinned fruit but it was more than two years out of date. What the hell is that about?! It appears that for the foreseeable future I will mostly be eating pizza (praise the lord for the Italians!).

Anyway, my personal highlight so far was queueing up with the locals to buy a 'peso pizza' for 30 pence and then sitting around in a Havana park with everyone else to eat it. Now admittedly I didn't feel quite right afterwards as it seemed to swell to the size of a football in my tummy and Ben's piece with 'chorizo' looked like it was covered in dogfood, but I refuse to let my moment be spoiled!

there are more photos here

Sunday, 21 September 2008

End of the Road

The last festival of the season. It was sad saying goodbye to the festival scene and all the new friends we've made. It wasn't so sad saying goodbye to camping in a field though! We took great delight in binning our broken tent and punctured airbed!

You can see a few photos here.

Thursday, 18 September 2008


After two days of torrential rain and knee deep mud we renamed bestival worstival. But Ben at least got to drive a buggy and dig a trench.

See more snaps from bestival here.

Of course before the rain there was actually grass in the campsite. As can be seen in this little video we made.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Electric Picnic

The fantastic Electric Picnic in Ireland reminded us why we love festivals. The Irish are relentless in their drinking and partying! There was no end of bizarreness to keep us entertained and we were even inspired to make a "montage"!

Lots of arty pictures too

You can see some more here.