Bespoke Cuban Holidays for the Discerning Traveller

Last Saturday I gave myself a big treat and made a phone call. With a bad cold and cough I didn´t want to be waiting in queues or talking too much. What a joy, thought I, to indulgence myself – but in peace and quiet. I had arranged for a home-visit manicure. Yes!

The young woman who arrived was a no-nonsense, ex-head of personnel turned nail painter with a very interesting take on life and a profound spiritual practice. That in itself was engaging (I quickly forgot my quest for peace and quiet) but even more winning – remember my coughs and sneezes? – was her encyclopedic knowledge of home remedies. This señorita knew how to cure bee stings, colds, burns, skin complaints, sun damage and lethargy – not to mention vanish wine spills, oil marks and blood stains.
Whilst my electric-purple nails dried she sent me into the garden to pick fresh oregano. Chop, chop, she said: boil the water and shred the oregano. Got the lemons and honey? Ok. Water off the boil, drop in the fresh oregano; now leave it to brew. Ready? Add a tablespoon of honey, the juice of half a lemon and stir. Drink it now, whilst it’s hot. That’s it. Now, tonight, do the same, but add some rum too! I instantly felt better. Wouldn´t you?

In next week’s blog I´ll be telling you about why and when you should spread yourself with tomato paste and about the very many ways that Cubans use fresh aloe vera. And when (scary, but intriguing) you might want to drink three drops of petrol, with milk. Watch this space.

Sue Herrod

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