Packing Part 5 – Everything Else

Here’s my “other” category; all the essentials that I can’t live without.

  • passport
  • wallet
  • cash (Canadian and US)
  • journal
  • 3 pens
  • map of Cuba
  • Spanish-English dictionary
  • hair brush
  • hair ties
  • first aid kit
  • clothes line
  • sink stop
  • book to read (The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell – because it’s over 600 pages and should last. Then again, David Mitchell is usually a fast read, so maybe not)
  • 2 pairs of sunglasses
  • Advil
  • mirror
  • tweezers
  • eyeglasses case
  • eyeglasses cleaner and cloth
  • rubber bands
  • scissors
  • extra plastic bags
  • extra bubble wrap (for wrapping the fragile bike parts on the way back)
  • duct tape

Total Weight: 5 lbs.

NOTE: I’m electing not to take the Lonely Planet Cuba guide with me. Partly as a silent protest and partly because it weighs one pound. As I’ve been going through it, I found myself more and more annoyed with the way it’s written. Is it just me, or has the Lonely Planet abandoned their commitment to “telling it how it is, without fear or favor”? This new edition reads like a “xenophobe’s guide to a land we don’t understand” and “why can’t they be more like us and share the same western values?”. I could really go on and on on this tangent, so stop me now.

For a comparison, if you ever get your hands on the old Lonely Planet Cuba guides, written by David Stanley, you’ll know what I mean. Stanley’s bio proudly states that “by looking at things through local eyes he has long promoted responsible tourism and given readers a perspective different from the self-serving cliches of mainstream journalism”. Right on, Mr. Stanley. Why aren’t you writing for the Lonely Planet any more? You are missed.


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