We knew that Cuba was home to a variety of classic cars, but we did not know that these amazing throw-backs to the fifties would be everywhere. Cuba is a rolling car museum, with thousands of colorful Buicks, Chevys, Fords in operation. As the Cubans do not have access to parts for these cars, they channel their inner MacGyver and use their ingenuity to keep them running. Some are in exquisite shape, while others are curbside with the hood up and a few people tinkering under the hood.
During a torrential rainstorm, we climbed into a 58 Buick taxi and sat in a big puddle of water. This car was not one of those in excellent condition, but it still ran with the help of some duct tape. The front seat in front of us was held up by a bar stretched across the back and attached to the sides. A steady stream of water dripped in from the interior roof and landed on Jim’s lap. As soon as we started up, the rear passenger window slid down into the door frame, allowing the rain to pour in. Betsy tried to roll up the window with the handle, but nothing happened. She tried to pull the window up manually with no success. As we spoke no Spanish and our driver spoke no English, it was futile to try to ask him if it could be put back up. But the open window provided a clear view out of the drenched vehicle, and it was warm, so we just sat back and enjoyed the ride. Our friendly driver pointed out attractions as we toured downtown Havana.
On sunny days, it was quite a treat to watch people enjoy riding along the Malecon with the convertible tops down.On to Trinidad and Valley of the Sugar Mills.