Its Friday in Havana Cuba, tonight I wanted to experience a Havana nightclub. There were a couple of well known nightclubs close by to my casa to try. Like Salon Rojo next to the hotel Capri which is opposite hotel Nacional. Also worth a try is El Turquino on the 25th floor of the Habana Libre hotel. Both with freelancing chicas available by all accounts.
The Habana libre hotel was becoming my base outside my casa. It was the only hotel nearby where I could access the internet. You have to pay 10 CUC for 1 hours access to the internet, but this lasts for 3 days if you not use it all up. Hotel Capri has the cheapest internet at 5 CUC but was a long walk in the heat if not going that way. The lack of internet in Havana is a serious disappointment for digital nomads.
The Habana libre hotel has a very comfy air-conditioned foyer where you can sit, have a coffee and surf the internet. Internet speed was good enough. Mongeplanet was blocked as was the international sex guide forum. You can get around these blocks by using a VPN such as ProXPN.
Most Cubans now have a cell phone, but there is no data package, no internet. You will see many Cubans sat outside hotels etc, trying to tap into the internal Wifi. You can purchase a local SIM card for calls only. You will collect alot of chicas phone numbers while in Havana. I had a free phone to use in my casa if I needed to call anyone local.
On the ground floor of Habana Libre was a shopping parade and little supermarket where you could buy water etc. It also has a couple of good restaurants one open 24 hours although a little pricey. Outside the Habana libre hotel there is always many taxis waiting but you need to negotiate they will aways try to overcharge tourists. It was the Habana libre hotel we stayed in that special one night in Havana nearly 10 years ago. The rooms were very comfy. If not renting a casa the Habana libre would be a good hotel to setup base. I intended to try the nightclub on the top floor called El Turquino one night but tonight the plan was to goto Salon Rojo.
After touching base at the Habana libre I take a walk down Calle 23. I want to check out the Hotel Nacional De Cuba. For a fee you can use the hotel swimming pool. that was what I intended to do for the day, just relax by the pool.
The hotel Nacional has lovely grounds you can walk around for free, overlooking the Malecon and La Rampa. You can sit down and enjoy a drink. There is a little museum devoted to the Cuban revolution and preserved trenches where they thought they may have been invaded by the USA. I check out the swimming pool but today they got a private party so cannot use.
I return to Habana Libre hotel and use their pool for the day. Its 16 cuc to use the Havana Libre swimming pool but 13 CUC goes towards food and drink. The Habana libre pool is not as good as the hotel Nacional. There was not enough sun umbrellas to go around and had to sit in the heat.
Alot more young people hanging out around the Habana libre pool, mostly tourists and hotel guests, it was noisy with loud music. The food and drink were good, but the waiter overcharge me, so had to correct this. Hassle you dont need, dumb-waiter or trying to make a few dollars. But if you are renting a casa in Havana there are many hotels who swimming pool and facilities you can use during the hot days.
Late that afternoon decide want to take a look around the old town of Havana. Dont want to walk back through centro, Wanted to save my energy for tonight and I would no doubt get distracted by another young black chica or something. So try my luck waving down a taxi particular along Calle 23. Driver stops and I say ‘Capitolio‘ he nods and I get in the old car and sit with some other Cubans.
Drops me off at Capitolio and I hand over 20 pesos of the national currency, that is under 1 Dollar. Now if you had taken a taxi from outside the Habana Libre hotel they would have tried to have charged you 10 CUC, would not have got it for any less than 5 CUC. So learning to wave down the taxi particulars on route to your destination will save alot of dollars.
Old Town to Malecon
I check out the bus stop to Playa De Este which I will take Monday morning, in July the beach is supposed to be packed at weekends.
I wander around the streets of the old town for a while, lots of tourists and a few older hardcore hookers, nothing special for late afternoon. I stop off along Obispo the main tourist drag in a bar and have something to eat, which was not too good.
Whenever you sit down in this district its not long before a Cuban quartet is playing in front of you and then want a tip or for you to buy some of their music. A novelty at first but then gets a little tedious. I then head back along the Malecon.
I had taken my DLSR camera out with me around Havana for the first time, to take a better picture than you can with a good compact. My second hobby to that of whore mongering. When you look around Havana you wonder how different it would be today if the revolution had not succeeded or the embargo had not lasted so long?
I head along the Malecon, as the evening draws in and the sun sets over Havana, many of the locals sit on the sea wall and enjoy the cooler air. The chicas are assertive along the Malecon, you only need to take a stroll around sunset and you will get propositions from at least a few chicas.
I had done well so far on my first two days mongering in Havana, first night a gorgeous Mulatto chica I meet in centro and then the second night a cute ebony chica also found in Centro. Would not mind a latina chica now, variety is the spice of life. In my mongers eye I had a picture of the kind of Latina chica I would like to meet in Havana.
Maybe tonight in Salon Rojo nightclub I would get lucky with a cute Latina chica from Havana. Due to the cover charge and enviroment I was expecting to find a more classy chica in the nightclubs also expecting to pay more. Quality never comes cheap.
No Salon Rojo
I head back to my casa and try to rest a little before heading out back down Calle 23 and into Salon Rojo. Its closed! Friday night and Salon Rojo is not open! I have a couple of beers in a bar opposite Salon Rojo and then negotiate with a taxi the cost to La Cecilia, he wants 20 CUC! Fuck that. I am told Salon Rojo was closed for many months and has only recently re-opened. In that time chicas have found new places to go. Salon Rojo is trying to get back on its feet.
I walk back up to Habana Libre and ask the same of a taxi particular he will take me to La Cecilia for 10 CUC. The problem is with Havana alot of these nightclubs are in Miramir and a long way away, so you are forced to take a taxi.
I decide to head back into the Habana Libre hotel and try the disco on the 25th floor called El Turquino. Its a 10 cuc entrance fee in the El Turquino but includes a free Mojito which cost 6 cuc. From the 25th floor of the Habana Libre hotel you have spectacular 360 degrees panoramic views of the whole city.
Cuban nightclubs are different to those in the west. You have spells of a DJ playing music both western and Cuban and then live shows and singers. Mostly just tourists and hotel guests in the Habana Libre disco. A few older more hardcore hookers come in late, after midnight, but I am not interested. There is no dress code to get into a Cuban nightclub, Its just too hot, shorts and sandals is just fine. No need to pack your fancy shoes and disco attire.
Im yawning now so call it a night and walk back to my casa. Oh well, a night off.