It is just amusing to observe the different vehicles on Cuba.
There are lots of American cars from before the revolution in 1959. You can see some examples here, down to the left from Vinales, and the two others from Trinidad and the last from Habana.
Even a person who is not very interested in cars, must admit that it is an interesting subject how the Cubans manage to maintain their cars so well.
You can also see cars, obviously produced in the former Soviet union. This is a sign of the political relations between Cuba and Soviet until the collapse of the Soviet union in 1991. But the cars from this period are still on the Cuban roads. Compared to the American cars (above) the quality of the cars from the Soviet union is far to the other end of the scale (meaning very bad). This is our “taxi”, in the middle of nowhere, on the road from Santiago de Cuba to Baracoa. After an hour with a smell of fuel in the car and the engine acting very uneasy, the car suddenly sounded like a helicopter. The trip lasted for 7 hours…
Even the public transport for the Cuban people consists of old buses and overloaded trucks.
Bus in Cienfuegos Truck (or bus) in Vinales
But for the tourists it is very different. (Picture of a Viazulbus). This is a system where the tourists are not allowed to use the buses for the local people. The high prices keeps the locals from using the tourist buses. This keeps the locals and the tourists away from each other and limits the exchange of information. The price-differentiation also brings lots of money from the tourists into the state-finances. The tourists have to pay in CUC (Cuban Convertibles) for the transport and hotels and Casas particulares (rooms in private homes). The local currency is called Cuban pesos. 1 CUC is about 25 Cuban pesos.
The bus to the right is similar to the Viazul-buses, which is the company the tourists are forced to use. The picture is taken in Matanzas
The horses are still going strong in the streets …
Left: This horse in Cienfuegos wanted a rest butt he owner did not…
Under: I didn’t know the horses also needs gasoline.
I was convinced that hay is the best food for the horses..
Cuba is full of contrasts; this boy with the modern hair and the old bicycle is one of many examples of how the international fashion is affecting even this country where the cars are from the 1950’s and the horses are still going strong in the streets!