Transportation – Cuban Style

Volgas, oxen, horse, bicycles, 1957 Chevrolets, 1954 Buicks, Edsels (with a Volga diesel engine), feet, tractors, Russian camels, trucks, Pontiacs, Ladas (they made a stretch limo version!), buses from Holland, Germany, Italy (all still with the ads in the native languages), dump trucks….

If it gets you from point A to point B, you will find it on the roads of Cuba. With a lot of ingenuity, and a bit of duct tape or a coat hanger, they can keep it going.

Getting anywhere in Cuba takes time and patience. There are buses. Sometimes they run. The best way to get around is to hitchhike, called hacer botella (literally to make a bottle). This is an accepted means of transportation, in fact there’s a law requiring government vehicles with empty space to carry passengers whenever they can. To hacer botella, walk along the road until you see a group of Cubans standing at an intersection. Look for the guy with the clipboard, he’s the amarillo. Tell him where you want to go. Although the group looks disorderly, the amarillo knows who got there when and their destination. When a vehicle stops, he’ll direct the group on a first come first served basis. It’s quite the experience.

Here’s what we rode in for a 30 km trip through the tobacco fields of Pinar del Rio. It was the best nickel spent.
Pizza delivery at its finest.
But no 30 minutes or free guarantee.
A russian camel
 Cars in Havana
 Buggy pulled by a horse
 Town Buggy
2 oxen, the twin engine model.
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