– overall wonderful vacation
– Havana with few tourists, therefore more marvelous. Many hotels still closed, and museums closed for repairs. They are having difficult times. But we really enjoyed, spent 4 full days there, and had very nice dinners in “private” locations, absolutely high level. In Playa we were told that they had some business this winter, in terms of tourists, but well below the norm. Overall Cuba even more tragic and fascinating at the same time.
– Accomodation: perfect, clean, very good food, very kind people. Hostal almost empty in that week, a couple of days an American fisherman was there, another day a group of birdwatchers and that’s it. We really liked Playa, a view on Cuban life different from Havana
– Salinas: we had 5 good days in terms of conditions. Only one day more complicated for a mix of clouds and strong wind. My feeling is that it is a magical place. Different from all the other places i’ve fished in the caribbean. Perfect for me and Barbara.
– We just waded for all the 5 days, apart for a couple of hours in a channel looking for tarpons (not seens) and cuda / Jacks, and another couple of hours looking for Permit in a lagoon (we found a nice school but no casts).
– So, just bonefish, walking. The guide was a middle aged gentleman whose name is Manolo / Manolito, and was the perfect choice by Lazaro. Very patient, he fished with Barbara, helping her in spotting fish and getting close, given that her double haul needs improvements.
– I fished 5 days walking alone, sometimes out of sight from them, having my flat all for me. Perfect. Is the fishing I like, maybe not as thrilling as Permit fishing, but a mix of poetry, zen experience and deep focus.
– Moreover, it’s a place so huge that fish are not concentrated, we did not see schools larger that 4 fish, many singles, skinny water, so technical fishing, my rod of choice was a 7, very light or no weight flies.
– The river: again fascinating place, was good to go there, I jumped 3 or four tarpons, but difficult for Barbara, in terms of casting. We just spent 4 hours there, then we left for Havana. I dont like blind casting / fishing with sinking lines, and overall i’m not so fond of tarpons, even when you can sight fish for them.
– attached a picture of a happy Barbara with a good sized bonefish.
– conclusions: organization absolutely ok (Lazaro is a nice man, he was also the driver from / to Havana, and every day from Playa to Salina). The Guide was the kind of guide we needed, perfect. If you wish, I was expecting a bit more english capability, but Barbara speaks some spanish so no problem at all for her, who needed more to interact with the guide.
We really want to thank you for everything, and for helping us in keeping this alive for two years. We are really happy to having been there. It is a perfect choice for a “family” fishing vacation, where you can mix Havana and fishing, with easy logistics, and avoiding the limits of a liveaboard (every evening we enjoyed a walk in Playa and a drink on the beach with the sunset).