Cuba Unfiltered: An Immersive Journey from Havana to Trinidad
25 September, 2019
We touched down in Havana late at night. The airport doors flung open to reveal a world heavy with the smell of petrol and an atmosphere of organised chaos. The street lights were faint but the car horns were loud. My senses were pounded on all fronts. It was incredible.
Broadly speaking Cuba can be done in two ways. Option A, is to start in Havana for a couple of nights and then move on to Varadero - a resort town on the Hicacos Peninsula in which all-inclusive spa hotels and golf courses give way to white-sand beaches.
Option B (which we opted for) is to discover "the real Cuba". Travelling from the capital to the luscious valleys of Viñales, we stayed with local hosts in casa particulars and explored new towns along the way. "Hola" and "buenos dias" only got me so far - should you follow this route, bring a phrasebook. Luckily my amigos were fluent in Spanish, which meant we got to know our hosts on a personal level.
In this photo series I wanted to depict an unfiltered take on everyday life in this amazing country through a combination of candid portraits and landscape scenes from Havana, Viñales, Trinidad and the Bay of Pigs.
While I'm sure that Cuban resorts can provide a great escape, I was glad to have immersed myself in this country as much as physically possible - even if it did mean coming back even more sleep-deprived than when I left.