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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

Cuba: Heaving on a Jet Plane

Children parading in a carnival, Havana
Even Air France couldn't spoil the amazing feeling of waking up in Havana with a carnival procession going right past our hotel balcony

I can only assume it was karma of some sort. Perhaps it was a payback for all those times I've sat on the sofa watching people on reality TV suffering at the hands of the airlines and thought, 'Well, what do you expect when you turn up ten minutes before take-off?' Despite all the travelling I've done and all the air miles I've put in, I've never been one of those unlucky people whose holidays have been derailed before they've even begun. I've never had to sleep in an airport, and I've never experienced the shambolic sight of an airline trying to deal with an angry horde of bitter holidaymakers... until now. At last, I've joined the club.

Technical Difficulties

I've written many a story about terrible journeys in dilapidated African trucks, belching Indian buses and Indonesian sardine cans, and how, when the pain barrier is a dim and distant memory and things take yet another turn for the worse, there's always an element of, 'Well, you get what you pay for.' When it costs threepence for the miniscule corner of a wooden bench in a beaten-up old tin can that looks like it runs on luck, homemade spare parts and prayer, it's a bit rich to complain when the wheels fall off and you don't get to your destination until halfway through the next day. Besides, there's always something interesting in transport disasters, not least the reaction of the locals, who mostly just shrug their shoulders and spark up another cigarette. Travel disasters in the developing world are a part of travelling, and they often make for great stories.