La Habana to Cienfuegos

Feb 10, 2018 - Harmony V

Today we enjoyed a last morning in the beautiful city of La Habana and we did so in a great way; some of us visited the truly spectacular Columbus Cemetery, whereas some other visited the Revolution Museum. With 138 acres and some 2 million tombs, the Columbus Cemetery is one of the world's biggest and many of the mausoleums are simply magnificent reminders for posterity of the power and influence of those who lay inside. The Revolution Museum also gives testimony of those more recent events that happened six decades ago that changed Cuba forever. We were able to see many of the original vehicles that such figures like Camilo Cienfuegos, Ernesto "Ché" Guevara and Fidel Castro utilized during their battles; homemade tanks, four-wheeled cars and the legendary boat "Granma" are on display for everyone to see, together with airplanes and even a missile-launcher that were used during the Bay of Pigs fights and the Missiles Crisis between Russia and the United States.

After having checked-out of our home in La Habana during the past three days, the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, we hit the road and traveled south-east across the island towards the city of Cienfuegos and our ship, Harmony V. Along the way we learned about circumstances around the commercial embargo that the Kennedy Administration declared against Cuba from National Geographic Expert Christopher Baker. We stopped for lunch at a small place in the middle of the Cuban countryside named "La Familia Campesina" and enjoyed a traditional and delicious meal. We also had the chance to stretch our legs exploring the large gardens and watch a small menagerie of creatures, including some endemic species like the hutia (a medium-size rodent) and the Cuban crocodile.

Once we arrived to Cienfuegos we went straight to the Ferrer Palace, one of the magnificent buildings surrounding the Martí Square, for a music concert. What a privilege it was to listen to the amazing "Cantores de Cienfuegos" choir! They sang for us several wonderful songs from Cuba and abroad, and there was not a single one of us who didn't enjoy their performance. One more sample of the rich cultural life and devotion to the arts of the Cuban people.

From there we boarded our floating home for the duration of the expedition, Harmony V, and got ready for new and exciting adventures and places to visit during the next few days of our time together in beautiful Cuba.

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About the Author

Carlos Navarro

Undersea Specialist

Carlos J. Navarro is a biochemist specializing in marine biology, a M. Sc. in Environmental Management and a freelance wildlife photographer/author. Carlos has spent most of the last 30 years living along the shores of the Sea of Cortez and participating in numerous scientific, conservation and environmental education projects on the vaquita, marine invertebrates, sea birds, great white sharks, baleen whales, jaguars and crocodiles. Carlos’ six years of jaguar research provided the basis of ONCA MAYA, a non-profit organization dedicated to jaguar conservation based in Cancun, of which he is a founding member and still serves as a scientific advisor. He loves being underwater, either free-diving or using SCUBA gear and have had the chance to explore the underwater realms of Alaska, Mexico, Svalbard, the trans-Atlantic ridge islands, the Caribbean and both coasts of South America from Panama to Chile and Brazil to Argentina. 

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