Thursday, May 21, 2015

Crossing Cuba for the First Time in 2000

Marta and Our Plane Ready to Head Out for Cuba and Grand Cayman

     This week there was a Hobie Cat Sailboat race from South Beach in Key West to Havana.  This is
the first of its kind in 50 years.   It makes me think about all of my mental images of Cuba  over the years and my amazement when I first set eyes on Cuba in 2000.  

Our Approach to Cuba on the GPS
   We flew out of Key West enroute to Georgetown, Grand Cayman directly over Cuba.  We first met Cuba at a town called  the Matanzas just northeast of Havana.   We proceeded south across Cuba to Parque Nacional Cienaga de Zapata.   From there it was direct to Georgetown, Grand Cayman.
     The northern portion is mostly farms and undeveloped lands, but when you reach the southern side of the island,  you will see the largest of Cuba's National Parks.  Parque Nacional Ciénaga de Zapata, the largest of Cuba's six national parks and biosphere reserves.   Bird-watching platforms on the way out to Las Salinas offer a chance to see 18 of Cuba's 22 endemic species, including the red, white, and blue tocororo—Cuba's national birdiaddition to the  siju platanero (Cuban pygmy owl).    All of the reports that I have read about this park say that it in one of the best natural parks anywhere.

Central Cuban Farm Lands

    Our 2000 flight and first views of Cuba still leave me with a lot of warm memories of this extremely interesting island with all of its wonderful people and exciting culture that I find to be really fun to share.

Leaving the National Park on the South Coast of Cuba headed for Grand Cayman

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