So this week we left Cuba, and with it, Latin America behind. Safe to say, it’s been an adventure. We decided, in our infinite wisdom, to head home via New York and Oslo, for a quick Christmas injection before we rocked back into London. Rockefeller Christmas tree, ice skating, Gløg… sounds awesome.
First though, we had to get there. Because we had changed our original plans and because airlines don’t like to refund tickets, we had to head to New York from Havana (distance: 2106km, flight time 3 hours) via Panama City and San José (distance: 5279km, cumulative flight times 24 hours). Thanks for that, Delta.
Anyway, one day and some really overpriced airport food later, we arrived at JFK airport absolutely knackered and bloody freezing. To compound our woe, we weren’t able to contact our Airbnb host as JFK’s wi-fi hotspot is a load of shite, so we figured we’d just rock up at the door of our accommodation and hope she wouldn’t turn us back into the cold. Thankfully, we were right, and to boot our lovely hostess had just made a fresh loaf of banana bread. Our moods considerably improved, we had a glorious nap and headed out into Brooklyn.
There really isn’t anywhere that is quite so ingrained in modern media like New York. The countless hours we’d spent watching those iconic towers, parks and streets on the screen, meant that strolling across the Brooklyn Bridge felt weirdly familiar. It is a wonderful and rare feeling for a place to not only live up to these imagined scenes, but surpass them. Despite concerns that we had packed too much in at the end of the trip, or that we wouldn’t have enough time, we had an absolutely incredible 3 days. We really did save the best until last.
New York, and Oslo to be fair, had the added bonus of making us feel Christmassy. Now most of Latin America may well be staunchly Catholic, but no amount of Virgin Mary statuettes draped in tinsel will make you feel festive when it is 32 degrees outside. No, Christmas needs cold, and our last two stops delivered that in spades. By the time we had bought enough warm things to survive the bitingly cold breeze on the Brooklyn Bridge (alliteration high five), and gone to the most famous Christmas tree in the world, the festive spirit well and truly took hold of us.
All of this was just in time to come home. Two months away was enough time to learn an awful lot, and to be ready to come home and recharge our batteries. A quickfire family Christmas, a few days’ work and a week or so visiting just about everyone we know and we’ll be back on the road again, heading out to Rio on the 18th January. This time we’ll be gone for 6 months, and there’s one thing we can guarantee. It’ll be an adventure.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and thanks for reading any of our rambles over the last 10 weeks or so.