All posts filed under: Americas

Viñales: Cuba’s Green Scene

When someone says Cuba, you most likely conjure up iconic images of its capital Havana – its bustling streets, lively music, happy faces and those old school vintage cars roaming the streets. This without doubt is the heart of Cuba, its lively body and soul. Idyllic Caribbean beach scenes might also come to mind – white sand, turquoise waters and rum cocktails. And you wouldn’t be wrong. The large majority of visitors to Cuba split their time solely between Havana and the Varadero beach region, a nice little combination of city and beach with the added ease of getting between the two in just a couple of hours. However, there’s just so much more to the island if you have the time to really explore. After an incredible few days in Havana (more on that to come in a later post), we headed a few hours west to the beautiful Viñales, four to be precise. Now this is by no means off the beaten track, but perhaps due to its position in the opposite direction …

[People Of The World Series]: Street Dancers In Havana

There is a hidden story behind every face, a smile or an expression telling a thousand stories without any words. Some of my favourite pictures from my travels are of people’s faces around the world, a snapshot of someone’s daily life captured in a split-second action shot. It is true that one of the best ways to get under the skin of a country is through its locals. In my People Of The World Series, I share my photographs of people from all around the world.

The City of Angels: The Embodiment Of The American Dream

So I decided to break up my long journey home from Australia with a State-side stopover in the City of Angels: the one and only Los Angeles, California. It wasn’t my first time visiting: as we’re lucky enough to have a family friend who lives there, I went several times when I was younger as part of our annual summer family holiday. I remember being enthralled by it, and somewhat in awe of everything. It’s interesting because culturally (and obviously in language terms) it’s so much closer to England than most other places I’d travelled to such as the Middle East, the Caribbean, Malaysia etc. – but it was something else which grabbed me. I specifically remember sitting on the wall of the quirky, chilled seaside promenade of the El Segundo neighbourhood, with the gentle sea just ahead and the Californian sun beating down, watching the beautiful LA people shoot by on their rollerblades, in their skimpy workout gear, headphones in, their dogs running alongside trying to keep up, and the young groups of teenagers …

[Accommodation Review]: Casas Particulares In Cuba

Before I travelled to Cuba, the notion of Casas Particulares to me was just a general term for a homestay, a nice and more local alternative to the usual hotels/hostels that the majority of tourists, travellers and holiday makers alike use as a form of accommodation. Little did I realise just how significant a concept the Casas Particulares in Cuba has become. These government-run ‘homestays’ have all but taken over in Cuba as not just the most economical, but most popular and rewarding way of travelling for the majority of tourists visiting the island. It has especially taken off in the last few years since 2011 when bureaucratic regulations relaxed, allowing some Casas to turn into a kind of private business employing staff and even advertising online where possible. It’s definitely a hugely positive step in the ever evolving economy of the country. It’s not an exaggeration to say that you see the familiar Casa Particular logo hanging off almost every other house on every street, even in the smallest of rural villages. I think …