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Friends from Italy and Austria write:

We traveled to Cuba for a little over two weeks in the second half of
March/early April 2010.  Though we stayed in a hotel in Havana (Armadores de
Santander), everywhere else we stayed in Casas particulares, most of them
chosen from the ones recommended by the September 2009 edition of Lonely
Planet.  A notable exception was our stay at the casa of Rafael Navarro
Gallardo and his wife Adis in Baracoa (Guantanamo province). We had booked
with Rafael via Internet from Europe and upon arrival in Baracoa (by Viazul
bus) found Rafael and Adis most hospitable.  Their rental room is up on the
first floor of their house (address: Calle Felix Ruenes 29) and, though you
have to walk through their house to get to your room upstairs, once there
you have complete privacy.  There is a private porch with beach type chairs,
and another open air stair takes you to the upper terrace, above your room,
where there is a view over the roofs of Baracoa and a partial view of the

The room is large and comfortable, containing a double bed and a single bed,
two comfortable easy chairs, a coffee table and a sideboard.  The bathroom,
though rather small, has the required conveniences.  Everything is very
clean and the room is cleaned and the beds made up every day.  During our
three days with Rafael and Adis we had the opportunity of tasting three very
good meals prepared by Adis (once it was fish in the famous Baracoan sauce
with coconut milk; once it was a delicious lobster and once it was shrimps
in a tomato sauce, always served first with a soup then with vegetables,
rice and then desert).  What maybe made our stay at Rafael's house most
memorable were the long discussions we had with him.  I am Italian and my
wife, though Austrian, speaks fluent Spanish.  The topics of our
conversations stretched from past Cuban history to present Cuban history;
various Cuban heroes; achievements in literacy and health care of the 1959
revolution and various other topics.  As had been the case also with other
conversations we had had with many Cubans during those two weeks, the
conversations with Rafael gave us a deeper insight into the life of Cubans.

Prices: Room for two CUC$20 per night.  Breakfast CUC$3 per person. Dinner
CUC$7 per person.

We would like to strongly recommend Rafael Navarro Gallardo and Adis's casa
particular in Baracoa.  Exact address:

Calle Felix Ruenes 29
Baracoa      GTMO
Cuba     C.P. 97310

Karin Todeschini
In Austria  Haitingergasse 4,
            A-3400 Klosterneuburg
            Tel. & Fax. +43 (0)2243 35305
            Mobile      +43 (0)664 7347 2512

In Italy    Via di Valgiano 45
            I-55018 Segromigno in Monte
            Tel. & Fax. +39 0583 927780
            Mobile      +39 338 5314023