Santa Clara Train to Havana, Cuba Videos

I ended my 2009 Cuba trip in Santa Clara, before a nervous wait for a train to Havana, as detailed in my Cuba Go Nomad article. The article  also confirms that I travelled to Trinidad and then Cienfuegos, which I was a little mixed up about while rushing the previous two blogs out. The two cities are close together.

Santa Clara, Cuba

My camera batteries had completely gone in Santa Clara, so there’s no photos. I visited Che Guevara’s mausoleum and memorial square, climbed a hill for a panoramic view of the city, sat in the colonial central square (Parque Vidal) and visited the railway museum scene of an ambush by Cuban revolutionaries on a government train.

It was one of Che’s most famous moments as a military leader, in an assault on the city he shared with Camilo Cienfuegos.

My camera batteries might have lasted until the end of the trip if I hadn’t filmed these three videos earlier in the trip, excited by walking along Havana’s Malecon seafront and the mogotes and vultures of Vinales. C’est la vie!

Havana and Vinales Videos

Trinidad, Cuba Photos and Travel Memories

Trinidad is a nice old colonial town on the south-west coast of Cuba, and is another UNESCO heritage site like its near neighbour Cienfuegos.

Trinidad Photos

I walked around the cobbled streets and historic buildings (first three photos), and also walked to the Playa Ancon beach (last four photos).

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Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk), and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).

Travel to Cienfuegos, Cuba

Thanks for continuing to visit this site in the absence of new material. Your visits inspired me to stop waiting around to visit a scanner, and to photo my photos instead. I think they produced some quite arty looking shots.

After Havana and Vinales I travelled south to Cienfuegos. These three photos I uploaded to Google are from my bus journey, when we stopped at a café rest stop.

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Cienfuegos Memories

Cienfuegos reminded me of Miami, Florida with lots of colourful buildings, wide blocks of housing and malls, a baseball stadium and yacht club, and long seafront promenades. It’s centre is a UNESCO heritage site.

There were mountains to the south, along with smoke-bellowing industrial chimneys.

I saw dolphins swimming in the bay, and did a couple of scuba dives amongst big pillars of coral off Rancho Luna resort.

I sat on the seafront under clear star-filled sky, and had a few beers in bars.

I stayed at a nice flat with two loyal party members who’d done well, but also met people complaining about their poverty.

Here’s a few photos. The first one is of a statue of popular Cuban singer Benny Moré under a Che Guevara placard.

Cienfuegos Photos

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Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk), and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).

New Leeds Travel Articles

The travel25years journey back to 1987 is on hold at the moment, waiting to scan some photos; a bit like getting held up at a border, or waiting for a visa!

However, in the meantime, I’ve just had a couple of articles published on Go Nomad and TravelThruHistory about Leeds being chosen for the Tour de France Le Grande Depart on July 5th, and offering a comprehensive short guide to the Yorkshire north of England city’s history and the modern metropolis.

This is the start of the Go Nomad article:

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By Marc Latham

Leeds, the biggest city in Yorkshire, England, has been chosen to host the Tour de France ‘Le Grand Depart’ for the first time ever in 2014. A specially constructed media village will house over 2000 journalists reporting the start of the world’s biggest cycling road race, and the third biggest sporting event in the world. It is broadcast to 190 countries, with an audience of three billion.

Read more at http://www.gonomad.com/component/content/article/49-bicycle-tours/5531-the-tour-de-france-starts-in-leeds-england#gQUYO9VAlef75r0P.99

This is the end of the TTH article:

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Although Leeds doesn’t have beaches and mountains, it has many historical buildings and shops; as well as a renowned sporting history. It also has six prestigious Green Flag Award parks on its outskirts, and is the gateway to the Tolkien-inspiring Dales for national and international travelers.

The Tour de France cyclists, journalists and spectators are in for a treat when they visit Leeds for Le Grand Depart and travel around historic natural Yorkshire. 

http://www.travelthruhistory.com/html/cities73.html

Nepal Trek Lukla to Kathmandu Flight

In Tengboche I went to a Buddhist prayer meeting, with the temple open to trekkers.

Flying Lukla to Kathmandu

Lukla was like returning to modern civilisation, with bars full of happy trekkers, pub games and rock music.

The flight from the ‘most dangerous airport in the world’ was smooth, and there were great views of the snow-capped Himalayas to the north as we flew through the valley seen earlier in the trek, and then over flat plains to Kathmandu.

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I think Lukla is just beyond and inside the third ridge on the right as you view. The trek path led all the way across the mountains on the right side of the photo, and then it was up to Namche Bazaar.

The plane flies out of the ridge, and then back down the valley, before turning right to Kathmandu.

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Kathmandu Swayambhunath Monkey Temple

Back in Kathmandu, everybody said the Swayambhunath Monkey Temple must be visited, so I did. It was really nice, and had lots of cool and funny holy monkeys around the place.

It is the most important pilgramage site for the Newars, who are the indigenous people of the Kathamandu valley.

Nepal 130 Nepal 131 monkeytempleUpstairsMarc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk), and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).

Nepal Everest View Trek Gokyo to Lukla

The next day was another relaxing one, and I just walked to the other side of the third lake, where there is a kind of beach. The first photo is looking back at the Gokyo lodges across the lake.

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Gokyo to Pangboche

The next day I started the return journey; returning on the route of the outward trek until Phortse Tanga. Then it was a left turn to Pangboche, where I overnighted at a lodge run by a Sherpa who had climbed Everest several times. There were photos of him on the peak  in the dining room.

The first photo below is of sunrise on the mountains in the morning. Looking up what mountain it is I today, nearly five years later, realised it’s the Everest range from the other side to Gokyo.

Can you spot the horse in the second photo?

The third photo is looking back at Pangboche, with Ama Dablam to its side, and the Everest range behind it.

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Tengboche to Lukla

The first photo below also looks back at Ama Dablam and the Everest range, but from Tengboche, where I overnighted.

The final photo is from Lukla, which is either the trek beginning or end, or both, if you fly Lukla-Kathmandu-Lukla.

Nepal 123Nepal 124Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk), and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).

Mount Everest and Gokyo Lakes Photos

The day after climbing up Gokyo Ri I walked up to the last two lakes, which were jade rather than turquoise. There was another view of Mount Everest along the way (photos 1 [right side as viewed, looking smaller than Cho-Oyu] and 3 [above Makalu]).

Between the track and Cho-Oyu / Everest was the Ngozumpa glacier: the longest glacier in the Himalayas.

Mount Everest Photos

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Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk), and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).