I originally planned to go to Cuba for two weeks, which turned into a month, which turned out to be the first of many inevitable trips back. It wasn't so much a holiday but an eye-opening journey back in time to circa 1959. We stayed West, and did it thoroughly, going from coast to coast and back on ourselves to our favourite families that we stayed with. Each time we left another home it was difficult not to get too upset. It was pretty intense, actually, imagine gaining and losing a handful of family in the space of a week, each week.
We all fell in love with the country. Not only were the vast landscapes jaw-droppingly beautiful and exciting (made even more so by the fact we were travelling by original 1957 Chevrolets) but the richness and exuberance of their culture (one that is being lost fast in Latin America, we learnt from a Columbian, now a life-long friend) is still very much in tact. Most had very little material wealth, but were richer than most Americans. With free healthcare, education and a long (and living) line of close family, it made me appreciate the meaning of a true civilised society. These photographs do not do it justice. I can only tell anybody who feels a real urge to re-kindle their faith in humanity to go there, and soon.
This is the second chapter in a series of photos on Cuba. Read our Senior Editor Kate Hamilton's guide on travelling in Cuba - "Steer clear of the hotels and stay at a casa: listen to live music, eat home-cooked lobster, swap stories and sip rum on the porch."