Viva la evolution; Traveller

Cuba – Old Havana and its Fortification System

From cigars to salsa, Steve McKenna is seduced by hedonism, Havana style.

SLUMPED in the worn leather back seat of a Buick that has seen better decades, my friend and I watch, with a mixture of amusement and concern, as the elderly driver strains to keep this show on the road. To head straight, he must jam the large steering wheel firmly to the right.

As we lurch past a horse-drawn cart carrying half a dozen schoolchildren and rattle alongside a sun-beaten pavement scattered with slow-moving pedestrians, we debate when this vehicle would last have been deemed roadworthy back home. We guess about 1971.

Thankfully, it’s only a five-minute ride and we are dropped off unscathed, the inviting Parque Vidal, Santa Clara’s leafy, gazebo-studded main square, footsteps away.

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