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Cuba

We’re currently sat in the airport in La Habana, Cuba, waiting to fly to Grand Cayman, I thought this might be a good time to write this post, whilst the roller coaster of travelling in Cuba is still fresh in our memories. We’ve both been trying for two weeks to come up with adjectives to describe how we have felt whilst travelling here, it’s been up and down for the whole journey, Cuba, in every sense, is unique.

Today, we’ve been on the road for eleven months, and we just can’t really compare Cuba to anywhere else we’ve been so far. When we leave a country, almost every time we summarise it based on the people, there’s the other important things like the food, the costs, the ease of travelling and meeting new friends, but the people are always the lasting memory.

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Cairns & The Great Barrier Reef

We arrived in Cairns on an overnight flight from Bali, it wasn’t exactly what springs to mind when you think of a long-haul overnight flight, no movies and leg room here. The experience of flying overnight (but only four and a half hours) with Jetstar is similar to if you decided to cram yourself in to a box that was just a little bit too small to be able to move in any meaningful way whilst air hostesses walk past regularly, with disgusting unaffordable food, looking like they’d breathe fire if you so much as politely requested the £45 sandwich that was made three weeks ago.

We arrived to cold and rain in Cairns, not exactly what we imagined of the tropical Queensland coast, but the bad weather would only last for the day, we called an Uber, which turned out to be a huge pickup-truck, so exactly what you picture of Queensland, and were soon picking our car up that we would use for the next two and a half weeks over 3,000 km.

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Siem Reap & Angkor Archaeological Park

We were picked up by the bus company from Phnom Penh around 6.30am to go to Siem Reap, the second biggest city of Cambodia, the bus company said the journey would take over 6 hours, but we set of at 7am and arrived in Siem Reap by 12pm. We had booked in a place to stay in Siem Reap that was a little out of the city but offered free tuktuk rides to and from the centre, they told us they would pick us up from the bus station at 1pm, so we went down the road and found a place to get some lunch before going back to the bus station to be picked up.

After three phone calls to the hotel, an hour of standing in the street with our bags, and talking to another tuktuk driver about going to see Angkor Wat the following day, the hotel tuktuk finally arrived to pick us up. When we got to the hotel, they gave us a nice cold welcome drink and showed us our room which was huge with a nice comfy bed, a balcony and a bath (Stac was just a little bit happy), it also had free breakfast, a swimming pool and free tuktuk rides, so the $22 per night, although it was over our normal budget, was a bargain.

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Hoi An & the Night Train Bushtucker Trial

We arrived in Hoi An to a brand new hotel we had found on the internet in advance, we had booked two nights, but as soon as we got there we realised we would be staying longer. It had only been open for two weeks, so was really cheap at £15 per night, this was cheaper than almost anything else in Hoi An because the old town is famous for being a UNESCO world heritage site.

The hotel had every luxury we hadn’t had for the previous month and a half, a big room with a comfy bed (in Asia, this is as rare as rocking horse excrement), a balcony, a bath, a swimming pool, free use of bicycles and free breakfast. It was so nice to just relax somewhere comfortable for a few days after 6-7 busy weeks of travelling quite quickly, so we stayed five nights in the end.

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