Back to Havana… Salsa Feel The Heat on tour

My fourth year in Havana and my most pitifully poor in photographic terms. But in terms of Havana, the best time yet!

I wait all year to go back to Havana to get the photos I have missed out on and regretted not taking in previous years… to get there and be too busy having a great time and totally forget to even take out my camera most days! I am a disgrace!

Thankfully we booked onto a day trip to the picturesque town of Vinales where my brain clicked into gear and remembered that I needed to actually take my camera with me. Thank you brain!

Rainbow over the Malecon

We stayed in our usual apartment in the FOCSA Building again which allowed me to get the cityscape shots looking out over the malecon again, this year a rainbow allowed me to get a different shot to add to my collection.

I am ashamed to say i didn’t take any ‘proper’ photos of Havana this year, but it meant i could focus on filming intead with my brand new teeny tiny shiney Go Pro Hero. See the results on my youtube channel.

This year’s trip saw 11 of us travel as a group… salsa Feel The Heat on tour.

The group included: Myself, Pam, Suzanne, Katie, my parents Sue & Chris, Dave & Denise, Rachel, Vicki and Virginia.

Dance classes in Havana

We chose to spend the full 2 weeks in Havana but decided to celebrate my 31st birthday in Varadero for the weekend. The rest of the group split their time between Havana and Varadero.

Havana never gets boring for us, I thought the excitement would fade the more times i visited but i think it is the complete oppoiste.

Being with the Salsa Feel The Heat group meant dance lessons every morning and lots of quality time with Cuban friends that we have made over the years, including being able to take mi hermano Adonis to the beach resort of Varadero (for all inclusive indulgence for my 31st birthday) for the weekend for the first time in his life. Great memories within and lots of snapshots (like the ones below) but a lack of ‘professional photos’ but I wouldn’t have changed the holiday one bit.

Dance classes at Sprachecaffe in Miramar, approximately 15 minutes drive from central Havana. Classes are held in an air conditioned studio with full length mirrors. All the teachers are professional and you receive one on one teaching.

Varadero Varadero Varadero Varadero Varadero

So, most of the proper photos from this year are from our trip to Vinales. We booked this in the reception of the Hotel Nationale (60 cuc per person)

This included a full day trip 7am – 6pm, travel on an air conditioned coach from the Hotel Nationale, a stop off at a rum factory on the way, a boat trip through the caves, lunch in a countryside restaurant and a trip to the tabacco factory in vinales.

We loved the trip, and it was a great chance to see how diverse Cuba really is and that there is more to Cuba than Havana. Within Havana it is easy to forget that Cuba is a Caribbean island, Vinales and the buildings and lifestyle remind you that it is.

Here are a few of my Vinales shots.

Vinales Vinales Vinales

For more shots please take a look at my facebook page 

For even more of an insight into our cuba trip take a look at my vlog…. and here’s one of my dance lessons.

Next year when we return though I am going to do my photographer self proud with a list of shots i would like to take and dedicate days especially for photography.

But for this year our main focus was our dear dear friend Adonis, we wanted to create memories with him and experiences he hasnt had before. This included chilling around the Hotel National pool, fiesta’s in our Casa and a 2 day trip to an all inclusive resort in Varadero.

Spending 2 weeks with Adonis, Felix and our new Cuban friends along with my family and friends made our holiday complete.