7.30am Saturday morning, Mel, Carly and I split a cab up to Cancun airport. Despite only meeting on the tour, Carly and I had the same flights booked to Cuba so it was nice having a travel buddy. We sat waiting for ages to check into our flight… Then had greasy burgers/sandwiches and fries for breakfast at TGIFs, haha. The flight to Panama was uneventful, bar the occasional FIFA update from the pilot (it was an Argentina game I think). Carly and I spent our time at Panama City airport running back and forth trying to change money and pay for our tourist card for Cuba.
The journey to Havana was equally uneventful but we were delayed in taking off because of the sheer amount of stuff Cubans took with them on board. The crew had to send bags down to be checked in because there was just no space left in the cabin. Getting through customs was tedious, mostly due to a pair of Russians who managed to piss everyone around them off by just barging in between two lines and subtly inching forwards every time we moved. Cubans told them off. I told the man off (in Russian) and he said some shit like “look at all the people” and I was just like yep! Precisely! You’re not the only ones waiting. Anyway of course they pushed their way to the front and the woman just turned around and looked so goddamn smug…….. Ugh there is a reason they are not liked by people who have to deal with them.
Anyway! Went through immigration. Of course the woman stamped my passport, and in a stupidly obvious place too, so now I’m sure I’ll have a great time dealing with US border control. They already earmarked me for telling them I was going to Mexico. Hah. Ah well. We changed some money and sat around waiting for the other guy for our transfer… Who never arrived. But it was truly entertaining to watch all the Cubans clearing customs with their two trolleys worth of PS4s and appliances and TVs… Some just rolled bundled up stuff covered in plastic through the airport like they were soccer balls. Never seen anything like it. Highly amusing. We got to our hotel and checked in. Met my roomie, Lydia, went with Carly to get cash out (didn’t work), and had a night cap. All in all an exhausting day.