10 December 2016

 
Beachside resort of Paradisus Princesa del Mar
The rhythm of Cuba
Stan Cullimore, ex-Housemartins guitarist soaks up the vibes (and mojitos)...and finds he's the last man standing
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hen my my grown-up sons suggested we have some quality time together in Cuba, before the Americans take over, I wasn't sure what to think. I'm not going to lie. My boys have a healthy appetite for good times, late nights and hangovers. And I'm a grandad. Things started well when we arrived in Havana and discovered that our hotel rooms were comfy, high up and with great views of the park below.

Nice. We headed for the rooftop bar and were soon sipping mojitos, basking in the evening heat, taking in the city from above. Even nicer. Next morning we jumped aboard a pretty pink Buick, one of those gorgeous classic American cars left over from the 1950s, for a quick spin. Later we went on a walking tour of the city, which helped us get our bearings, especially when the guide pointed out the best cafes and bars. By now, we were ready for music.
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Colourful streets of Havana
a car, complete with driver, and set off to explore. The man behind the wheel, Frank, was worth his weight in gold. He found us picture-perfect waterfalls where we could swim in freshwater pools, and took us to the Bay of Pigs for superb snorkelling and great food. He then drove us to Trinidad, a charming city of glorious restaurants, colourful rooftops and glowing sunsets.

Our next stop was Paradisus Princesa del Mar, an all-inclusive beachside resort at Varadero. By now, the boys and I had moved into full on Cuban mode, smoking cigars, drinking neat rum and surrendering to the magic. On the last night, we found ourselves at a beach party where the dancers showed off their rolling, swirling, delicious salsa-style moves. My sons couldn't keep up with the pace, going to bed early and leaving me as the last man dancing. Seems there's still life in the old grandad yet.


Original article published in Oct 2015. All info and prices correct at time of publication.
You can't avoid it and even if you could, you wouldn't want to. It's glorious, it's everywhere and it makes your heart skip. What the locals can do with a couple of guitars, a handful of percussion and some sweet harmonising is unbelievable. Next day we rented
"By now, the boys and I had moved into full on Cuban mode."
 
 
 
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