My friend Yoel was in Havana for a few days working on the roof of his sister’s house. He invited me back to the family farm ( https://wp.me/p4fUlX-HH) with him when he returned home. He insisted that we travel economically, like a Cuban.
To travel the 48 km to San Jose de Las Lajas from Havana like an average Cuban would, you first have to get to where the Taxi Collectivos pick up passengers for San Jose. You can walk or take a Cuban taxi for 10 pesos (CUP).
We sat in the back of this “Jeep” in seats that faced each other.
The taxi collectivos that go to San Jose are large trucks that hold 12 – 20 people and they don’t leave until they are full.
This was our actual ride.
While waiting to leave Havana we had to sit with the sun streaming through the windows and beating down on the roof. Others had boarded before us and taken all the seats on the shady side of the truck.
A few seconds of the bumpy ride.
The parking area for the taxis is next to the train station near the center of town.
The farm of Yoel’s family is another 8 km south. We waited 20 minutes (in the shade) for this bus to come. It dropped us off 500 meters from our destination.
Total travel time – two hours. (one way)
I think often about Enoel, the father of Yoel, and his battle with kidney stones. He had to make this trip to the hospital in Havana several times over the course of two months. The last few times he had a tube coming out of his back to drain fluid into a collection bag.
More on that story in another post.