Subject: Re: Cuba
Hi Frances, we stayed at Playa Costa Verde, (formerly Breezes). Santiago is a three hour coach trip from the resort and 2 hours from Holguin which is the nearest town of any size. There is almost nothing to do in this area. Santiago has a long history and had it's part to play in the revolution but for Cuba's second city it is very sad. The people are so poor and the stores are empty. I haven't seen such poverty in a large city since Vietnam in the early 90's. Apart from the main square and a rather nice leafy square it is very run down. The highlight of the tour for me was the visit to the Castro Plantation, for that it what it was, the Castro's were a wealthy land owning family. It made me realize how little I knew about the revolution and Cuba's recent history, must do some reading before we go back.

If you like to use a resort as a base from which to go out and about then I would not recommend the Holguin area. If you are looking for a nice beach, friendly people, acceptable food and drink at a great price then this might be the place for you. We went in early November, it is amazing the deals you can get at the tail end of the hurricane season!!!

I am about to put some photos on Webshots, mainly for our family as we plan to take our children and their children there or somewhere like it next year to celebrate our 40th anniversary. I will email you when they are available so you can take a look. I will add some photos of Santiago for you, we have none of the Castro's home as there was a $5 per head camera charge and at the time of entry, I thought it outrageous. Having seen the place I wish I had taken the camera! Everyone left their cameras on the bus so they made nothing other than our entrance fees. Had the camera fees been $2 them I suspect everyone would have paid, a bit short sighted on their part I think.

Regards Sue Waterloo ON