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Weekly Message - 23rd January
Below is a summary of the talk given last Monday by Chris Robison about his and Leonie’s recent trip to Mexico and Cuba. It was unfortunate that the AV equipment did not function and we could not see the accompanying photos – perhaps these can be viewed another time. Thank you Chris for an interesting presentation.
Trip to Mexico and Cuba
Leonie's birthday was on 1 December so we flew out to LA that day and due to the time change when we arrived, she had another birthday! What great planning was that! Visited Santa Monica Pier and La Brea Tar pits etc.
Flew from LA to Cancun airport in Mexico. Then driven down to Tulum and stayed on the beach at a wonderful resort. Snorkelled in 2 cenotes (underwater sink holes). Mayan ruins and temples. On way to Merida visited Chichen Itza a Mayan site beautifully restored. Visited other Mayan sites as well in that part of Mexico. Villahermosa's lake in the middle of town and what we discovered lurking in it. Had to watch out for crocs as we walked around!
Eventually to Cuba via Mexico City. Certain administrative challenges at the International Airport in Havana - particularly witnessed on departure... The old cars are everywhere belching out a lot of black/grey smoke. Like stepping back in time. The history of Cuba is interesting and since President Obama's visit last year it appears that more people visiting. Two types of currencies. One for tourists (CUCs) and another for residents.
Went to Vinales in the west of Cuba. Beautiful valley. Tobacco farms. Saw how the famous Cuban cigars made. Many locals are limited to horse drawn carts as a means of transport or riding horses to get around. Many houses in Vinales are private homes equipped with guest facilities. It's a good way to get to know the locals. We stayed in one owned by a doctor. One of the many things we did in that area was to visit Cayo Jutias where there is a beautiful beach but a pretty rough road trip to get there.
Then to Trinidad on the southern side of the island before returning to Havana and later on to Mexico City for 10 days. There during the Christmas period. Mexico City was built by the Aztecs on a lake. However these days there are areas sinking which need technical measures to address. Very heavy Police presence. The artistic talents of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera were also seen. Different artistic style of each.
Next Monday 23rd January I have asked President Elect Bobby to present his ‘Get to Know You’ talk which will be interesting for all members.