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“I recall the busy atmospheric streets. The snapshots of lives lived out in the open, and the unmistakable aromas: Tropical Papaya mixed with Tobacco leaf, petrol and musty carpets….” writes Lonely Planet author on Cuba, Brendan Sainsbury. His latest guide coming out in October is an evocative, info-packed read. Brendan spends some time talking with us. Writer Allison Yates transports us into the optimistic resilient heart of the Cuban people in her feature, "me resolvi." And chef Gabriel Gonzalez of Toronto's Mojito Cubano gives us an authentic taste of his homeland. Dig in.

(Allison Yates//me resolvi: 1:07; Brendan Sainsbury//Lonely Planet: 14:37; Mojito Cubano live: 31:26)

 

Allison Yates

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Allison is a writer and traveler who has done everything from selling pumpkin donuts to working as a cleaner at a uranium mine to fund her life abroad. She's a Latin American enthusiast who loves Cumbia, coconut water, and the Spanish language.

 

Brendan Sainsbury // Lonely Planet Cuba Writer

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Born and raised in the UK in a town that never merits a mention in any guidebook (Andover, Hampshire), Brendan spent the holidays of his youth caravanning in the English Lake District and didn’t leave Blighty until he was nineteen. Making up for lost time, he’s since squeezed 70 countries into a sometimes precarious existence as a writer and professional vagabond. His rocking chair memories will probably include staging a performance of ‘A Comedy of Errors’ at a school in war-torn Angola, running 150 miles across the Sahara Desert in the Marathon des Sables, and hitchhiking from Cape Town to Kilimanjaro with an early, dog-eared copy of LP’s Africa on a Shoestring. In the last eleven years, he has written over 40 books for Lonely Planet from Castro’s Cuba to the canyons of Peru. When not scribbling research notes, Brendan likes partaking in ridiculous ‘endurance’ races, strumming old Clash songs on the guitar, and experiencing the pain and occasional pleasures of following Southampton Football Club.

- (Bio from lonelyplanet.com)

 

Mojito Cubano

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Mojito Cubano, located at 1510 Queen Street West in Toronto, is run by Cuban chef Gabriel Gonzalez. It's the real deal in authentic Cuban cuisine and casual warm atmosphere.