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

Mazda? Nope, Changan Alsvin.       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 Ma