Cuba: Day 4 (Part 3)

November 10, 2010

That misadventure I alluded to?  Well, it definitely was not my finest travel moment.  You see, we got scammed, and as much I would like to not admit it, it was totally my fault.  I am obsessed with the musical group Buena Vista Social Club and when two Cuban ladies approached us and said/promised that they happened to be playing in a small courtyard in Chinatown I naively convinced Marc and Kristin that we simply HAD to go!

While we waited for them to perform, the Cubans asked us to buy them drinks and lunch.  After about an hour of waiting we sadly realized that this was all a ploy and got up to leave.  However, as we were leaving the ladies announced that they had cigars for sale in their casa.  Marc and I decided to check them out.  Sure enough they had every cigar your heart could desire.  I spent some time trying to think how I was logistically going to smuggle these beauties back into the States without getting caught.  Finally, I decided I would take the wrappers off and hide them in my wallet, so that they just looked like regular cigars.  If I got caught with them I would tell security that they were cheap cigars from Mexico (even though they were Romeo y Julieta’s) and if they wanted them they could have them.  Marc thought I was a bit crazy to take this chance, but I welcomed the challenge.  I ended up leaving the casa with my fingers crossed and thirty cohibas for the bargain price of 50USD$.

We then departed ways with Marc to check into our new casa.  This one was also located in Habana Vieja.  It was a charming place, but not as intimate as the first, because it had a lot of guests staying there and the owners were not very talkative.

But to be honest, we were not interested in talking with them either, as we had a special evening awaiting us!  Because we had walked all day, we splurged on a pedi-cab.  The following are photos from our entertaining ride through the streets of downtown La Habana:

Then we arrived at our destination and when I say we celebrated the evening in style, I mean style. . .

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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27 thoughts on “Cuba: Day 4 (Part 3)

  1. kay* at from india. with love.

    you are a very brave gal! i’m going to need to contact you about the names of some of these gems of places you stayed in – don’t know when i’ll get to cuba since i leave for india in march but i definitely hope within the next 2 years!

  2. Jenni Bennett

    What a rebel! Sounds like you’re having an awesome time, aside from the cheapskates! Btw, the buildings “falling apart” look is my favorite kind of beauty in photos – there’s something sincere about it. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  4. JD Meier

    You got so many amazing adventures still ahead of you, but it sure looks like this trip will be a highlight … so many amazing pictures and experiences to draw from and lift you up, wherever you go. Beautiful. That’s what life’s about … filling it with beautiful experiences.

  5. denis

    Hey gerl … I c u been trotting the globe since we last spoke … not to mention you got engaged. Nice! You are basically living my dream from the female perspective 😉 …

  6. Mary

    I wouldn’t worry about getting scammed… it happens to the best of us! It still looks like a fantastic experience and I love the interior of your little casita! It looks like my grandmas house in LA! Looking forward to seeing how you spent the night in style…

  7. Krista

    How fun, Andi! I am ACHING to visit Cuba and hope to get there maybe next year. 🙂 I love your wild jaunt through the streets. 🙂 Too bad about being scammed – but I think it happens to all of us at one time or another. 🙂

  8. Kyle

    I actually admire you more for admitting you’ve been scammed. I think many travel writers don’t mention incidents like this because they want to keep their street cred. But honestly, like Annie said, it happens to the best of us!

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  10. Emily

    Aww, what a bummer about the scam! I would have been so disappointed. As a foreigner, it can definitely be hard sometimes to detect a scam. But your casa looks so cute!

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  12. Katie

    It’s a shame you got suckered, but when you’ve traveled as much as you have, i imagine it’s bound to happen sooner or later. Just chalk it up to experience, and be happy you walked away with some great cigars in the end!


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