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Showing posts from February, 2013

Fuel for thought

Just flew in from Cuba, and boy, are my knees tired! Legroom, it`s clear, is not a priority on the Boeing 737s operated by CanJet (or is it Sardine-CanJet?). Still, the price was right.
   As was the Cuban experience.
   One thing I noticed. The smell of diesel fuel in Havana has never seemed so strong. It could have been the weather – hot, still days, and then rain.
   It could be a change – and not for the better – in the refining process.
   Or maybe it`s simply that after years of particulate filters and low-sulphur "clean" diesel in Europe and North America, some of us have forgotten the greasy, rotten-eggs odour of old-style diesel.
   One certainty. It is not the smell of progress.

The Gullwing: Watch it and weep

Miguel Llorente shares this video of his discovery in Cuba:

See also:
The Young Man and the 300SL

Cuba car rental guide: The facts

MUCH OF what you read on the Internet about renting a car in Cuba is confusing. Some of it is wrong.
  And some things – like the supposed "Chana Alfwin" – are confusingly wrong.
   Several Cuban rental sites (well, they're mostly not Cuban – see below), list the Chana Alfwin sedan among available cars. Never having heard of the Alfwin, I was curious about who makes it and how it is regarded. Yet for all my digging, I couldn't find any mention of this car elsewhere.
   A unique-to-Cuba vehicle?
   Nope. The "Alfwin," I finally discovered, is actually the Alsvin, produced by Chinese manufacturer Changan Automobile Co., which sometimes refers to itself in English as Chana. Changan is reportedly a division of the state-owned Chinese Weaponry Equipment.
   Considered a midsize model in Cuba, the Alsvin would be regarded as a compact in most other places. It bears a more-than-passing resemblance to the first series Mazda 3, though with a 99-inch (2515 millimetres) wh…