We have a Cuban Connection. Brooks met Rolando on a previous visit and has kept up a friendship with him. Roly is a well educated very friendly English speaking Cuban whose local knowledge and advice is invaluable!
Roly is a retired Physics Professor from the Habana University who has recently gotten a Masters Degree in Tourism as well. He also dabbles in professional photography and guiding tourists. He is a very nice guy! Roly is a proud Cuban and a committed Marxist. Brooks asked him if he would leave Cuba if he had a chance and without hesitation, he said “No”.
When we decided to go to Habana (yes, it is Habana, not Havana) we asked Roly to come with us. He found us a deal on a car and offered to drive for us. It costs a little more rental if a Cuban is driving but the convenience is well worth it!
Our vehicle is a fairly new Hyundai. The gas tank is full when you get it and is expected to be empty when returned. It came with one soft tire that we had to have pumped up on the way to Habana. Gas prices in Cuba are a little higher than in Canada at 1.15 CUC ($1.30 CAN) per litre. The return trip to Habana took one full tank plus about ten litres.
The car also came with many small dents that do not seem to be recorded on the rental agreement. I hope this is not a problem as the $265 for the four day rental is on my credit card.
Roly dropped us off at the hotel and took the car home for the night. He will be able to take his family for a ride and do some shopping that is difficult to do without a car. He is picking us up this afternoon to take us to his house for dinner and to meet his family.