Driving a ’54 Plymouth in Baracoa, Cuba


El_Yunque_and_Duaba_River_baracoa_CubaOn a road off the beaten path we caught a glimpse of El Yunque, a tabletop mountain and summit of one of my up and coming hikes in the area. My driver Octavio asked, “Quieres manejar?” I thought for a second, did I want to drive? After nearly a decade of travel to Cuba, I had ridden in hundreds of classic cars, but never driven one. Candela (wow)!

54_Plymouth_Baracoa_Cuba_by_Heidi_SiefkasI moved the bench seat forward as Octavio, a thirty-five-year-old, born and raised Baracoan, instructed me how to carefully let out the clutch (sauve) and give it more gas (dale!). Flashbacks of learning how to drive a manual Honda Prelude in small-town Wisconsin punctuated my first few minutes on that backroad as the tires kicked up gravel and I avoided the large potholes in the road because of recent rains.

Once I got the hang of it, Octavio reminded me that driving in Cuba is not all about the technique; nothing in Cuba is done without a bit of socializing.

Read full article in Perceptive Travel’s October 2019 issue

Come to Baracoa, Cuba with me Oct 16-23rd, 2020


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