Not A Good Idea – Havana In Summer

8 Aug

Having been in Havana last May when temperatures were already in the low to mid 30’s C and humidity was high I thought taking a short trip in late July/ early August would not be any different weatherwise.
I was wrong. It was almost unbearable hot and sauna-humid …

Fortunately the first Casa I stayed and shared with my friends had a good A/C system ( and that coming from me as I hate A/C … ) – the second Casa did not have it. Basically it had nothing to cool down the place as the old Russian A/C unit made noise but no cold and the small ventilator did not help in the large living room. Only relief was the terrace – which was basically the reason I took it in the first place besides the great view.

One morning smoking my after breakfast cigar I could not believe my eyes as I watched a camera team tape a music video of an excellent drummer for over an hour on the rooftop below my apartment – the guy didn’t move for 90 minutes playing the drums like Ginger Baker in the hot morning sun.

It was good to be back and spend some time with friends, re-visit the good restaurants, sitting outside in the breeze and smoke some fine cigars again.

Nothing much changes in Havana, and if it does it’s mostly for the worse – more tourism, more people around, higher prices ( friends got charged 23 CUC a plate for pork chops at La Terraza del Centro Asturiano when it was 9 CUC last May …

The latest hurdle for private enterprise in Cuba is that the Government has stopped issuing licences to open new Paladares, private business or taxi permits. It doesn’t get better in any sense.

A few known places have been shut by the Government like El Litoral and others and it pains me to see that the cigar lounge project at Espacios, the lounge is basically finished, will not open as no licence for it is expected. Applying for one would only wake up the dogs and cause more inspections and trouble.

Other than that the city is in a heat-induced coma, hard to walk around for more than half an hour in the oven-like atmosphere and you are grateful for any rest, shade or breeze.

The lounges at Partagas, Conde de Villanueva, the newly opened Comodoro lounge ( rumoured to become a LCDH ) and my small favourite lounge with ice-cold-freezing-ass A/C were welcome relief as was the lobby of the Hotel Raquel for a Mojata and a good cigar.

Funny story – sitting in that small cigar lounge two US ladies came in. First thing they complained about the cigar smoke. Remember : If you don’t like smoke DO NOT come to Cuba. Second thing : They ask to buy Cuban cigars with … Vanilla flavour ….  Guess I will endorse and enjoy Trump’s new travel regulations 🙂

Factories being closed for vacation I had the chance to meet with my long-time friends and share some fantastic home cooking meals, rum and cigars. The basics …

Going back to Mamy’s a few times I spent time with Carlitos, the cook. They have renamed my Cubanito sandwich invention to “Cubanino”, basically a Cuban pork & cheese sandwich but without the chemical ham and with a fried egg on top instead.

Other Paladares on this trip were the reliable 7 Dias, Amigos del Mar and Tic Tac. The heat did not make for great appetite.

Despite the heat it was good to be back – just never again in summer 🙂










One Response to “Not A Good Idea – Havana In Summer”

  1. Paul Przybysz 09/08/2017 at 06:36 #

    23 CUC for a plate of pork chops at La Terraza? I had lobster there in February fro 11 CUC. They will kill the goose that laid the golden egg.