My wife and I decided to go to Cuba for a trip based primarily on birding though my wife is more interested in places, people and plants than birds. However, our 12 day trip to Cuba proved to be a great success
We found the people charming in the main, the exceptions being one or two members of officialdom and the incredibly annoying jineteros who try to latch onto tourists either to steer them towards restaurants, casas particulares or other places where they will receive a commission added onto your bill or have some minor scams up their sleeves such as counterfeit cigars or dodgy exchange deals. I tried several ways of dealing with them: explaining we weren't interested rarely worked; when asked, almost inevitably, where we came from the reply "Russia" seemed to scare most away; and, when asking directions, we found it better to ask a policeman than anyone at the side of the road. That said, the most effective method was to ignore them entirely although you feel very unfriendly and uncomfortable doing this.
While I am used to travelling independently, I found the difficulty in using credit cards while in Cuba and the difficulty in using the internet for planning and booking beforehand to be quite frustrating. I would guess that, if you are more interested in seeing the great birds that Cuba has to offer rather than travelling independently, you would be best advised to join a tour such as those organised by companies or by Andy Mitchell at email@example.com, one of the great experts on Cuban birds, . Andy will also organise trips for independant travellers - flights, car hire, accommodation in hotels, extensive notes on how to find places, guides and birds. I wish I had known this before I went on this trip!
There are several excellent reports available on the web. The 4 that I used were Dave and Nad Sargeant's, John van der Woude's, Mark Sutton's and Jon Hornbuckle's. I found the GPS waymarks on John van der Woude's site particularly useful both for locating some species and for driving around the country. However, since returning, I have been told that it is illegal to take a GPS unit into Cuba and some birders have had theirs confiscated at the airport. You have been warned.
The two books I used were: "Birds of Cuba" by Orlando H. Garrido and Arturo Kirkonnell. and "The Rough Guide to Cuba"
While in Cuba, I also bought an excellent book called "La Ciénega de Zapata" which can be bought at the CITMA visitor's centre a kilometre or so south of Pálpite. Even if you can't read Spanish, the excellent photos, including many Cuban endemics, justify the modest US$ 5 cost. Andy Mitchell is in the process of getting this book translated into English.
I tried to compile a playback tape but found that the LPs of "Birds of Cuba" was out of print and only managed to cobble together some of the species using some old tapes I have of "The New World Wrens", Voices of The New World Pigeons & Doves" and "The New World Thrushes". The missing species did not matter too much around the Zapata Swamp and Najasa since the guides had tapes but it did prove a bit frustrating in Cayo Coco. I was told that the Cornell "Bird Songs in Cuba" was about to be re-issued and I was offered a copy (probably pirated) of a CD of the Bird Songs of Cuba at Playa Larga. Unfortunately, I didn't have the technology to transfer tracks from the CD to my minidisc recorder in the field.
I also bought a map of Cuba, "The Rough Guide Map of Cuba" which, at a scale of 1:850,000, proved to be very useful for driving around Cuba. It was entirely accurate as far as I could see with the exception of the eastern end of Autopista A1 which ended at Taguasco rather than extending beyond that town as shown on the map. What I did miss was a more detailed road map of Havana and I could also have used a more detailed map of Camagüey one of which I found on the Casa Particular site.
What I should have bought is the 1:300,000 scale Road Atlas of Cuba which is available at http://www.cubamapa.com/. Click on the box on the right where it says "detailed road atlas".
I looked at a few options but the best flight from Edinburgh was with Air France since it meant only one stop in each direction, at Paris, it had far less waiting time than BA and it arrived at about 6:30 pm as opposed to close to midnight. Furthermore it was amongst the cheapest of the options. I booked it through Journey Latin America who also arranged the tourist visas at a cost of £ 25 per person. It is this tourist visa that is stamped on entry and exit rather than your passport. You also have to declare on this visa the place you will be staying on arrival in Cuba.
I had tried to pre-book a hire car but could not find a website that allowed me to book one using my credit card on a secure site. Since we were spending 2 days in Havana before we needed a car I decided to wait and book when we arrived.
I was looking for Cubacar because they had a good recommendation in a couple of the trip reports but they have now "merged" with Transautos if merge is a process that can take place between 2 state-owned entities. I found the Transautos desk at the Habana Libre Hotel and was told that a car would be available on the Friday as requested but, apart from a note in a diary, there was no formal documentation. Consequently, I was not surprised when, on Friday, I was told that there was no economy car available but only a standard and an automatic standard at that. The cost was $85 per day plus $10 per day insurance plus the cost of a tankful of petrol.
I suspected a scam when, after signing a credit card slip for the insurance and petrol, I was told that the balance was to be paid in cash. I said I didn't have that amount in cash and was expecting to pay the whole amount by credit card. After a bit of discussion I was told that, if I paid $100 in cash, I could pay the rest by credit card. After 30 years living in Latin America I shouldn't have been surprised when I saw the $100 being slipped into the agent's top pocket but I hadn't expected it to happen in Cuba. Since our holiday would be ruined without a car I mentally waved goodbye to my $100 and expected to have to pay extra when handing the car back. To my surprise this did not happen and, in fact, I ended up getting one day free and a free ride from the centre of Havana to the airport on the day we left very much to my surprise. My wife says I'm paranoid.
In short, I would advise pre-booking a rental car if you possibly can but I have been unable to discover how you do this. (Since writing this, Andy Mitchell has mentioned that you can book a hire car from http://www.havanacarhire.com/.)
An additional worry was that the car was marking 24,800 kms when we took delivery and there was a sticker saying that maintenance was due at 25,000. I pointed this out to the Transautos people who told me not to worry as our rental document said the next maintenance was due at 30,000 kms. However, lights started flashing when we passed 25,000 and, mindful of Dave Sargeant's warnings about this, I did worry. In the end there was no problem.
With the lack of traffic, driving in Cuba is quite relaxing until you get lost. This is extremely easy to do given that there are virtually no road signs showing directions. This was where a GPS was useful particularly in conjunction with John van der Woude's waypoints. The maps in his report and that of Mark Sutton were invaluable.
Hazards include bikes, animals and pedestrians but, providing you are alert, stick to driving during daylight hours and keep within the speed limit, these should not prove to be a major problem.
Rules of the road are fairly standard except for railway crossings all of which seem to be unmanned and without gates. Here you are expected to come to a dead stop in order to look both ways before proceeding even when the line was fairly obviously disused. It is also adviseable to stop completely at "Pare" signs.
Another feature of driving in Cuba is the number of hitch-hikers at almost every junction (and railway crossing). It seems to be a function of the lack of or relative expense of public transport and reminded me of Chile in 1974 but don't tell Fidel I said that. I would guess there is little danger in giving lifts to hitch-hikers but I am loathe to do this on principle. We spoke to one French birder who had stopped to give a lift to a woman and child and, before she knew it, a man was also in her car claiming to be the husband.
In 2005, you can no longer use US dollars in Cuba and, in fact, they don't even seem to accept US dollars in the Casas de Cambio. We went with Euros some of which I exchanged for "Pesos Convertibles", the tourist currency, on arrival at the airport. There is a Casa de Cambio desk at Baggage Reclaim. I was hoping to use my credit card (only non-US cards are accepted) for a few things but, while I suspect that cards are accepted at up-market hotels and restaurants, we were only able to use our card for buying petrol and , rather reluctantly, for the car hire.
This, and the fact that I had slightly underestimated our expenses, meant that I had to use my credit card to get cash from Casas de Cambio. These are fairly common and, apart from Havana, we found them at Playa Larga and Camagüey while I'm sure there would be one at Morón. They do not accept bank cards such as Maestro and ATMs seem to be few and far between.
To give a rough idea of how much cash is required, we needed the equivalent of about US$150 per day for the 2 of us. This covered all accommodation except for the Havana Hotel, food and guides.
We started off in 2 hotels. The first was the Victoria Hotel in the Vedado district of Havana. This we had pre-booked and pre-paid on the internet at http://www.hotelvictoriacuba.com/ for 3 nights at €85 per night for bed & breakfast for the two of us. We found it reasonably comfortable, clean and much more enjoyable than the large internationally-managed hotels that were also in the area. It was conveniently near the Malecon, the road along the sea-wall that took us into Old Havana for a bit of sight-seeing. I reckon that the two places really worth visiting in Havana are the Havana Club Distillery and the Partagás Cigar Factory.
The second hotel was the Mirador at San Diego de los Baños. We had not pre-booked this but had no problem in getting a room for 2 nights at $41 per night for bed & breakfast. There was a large group of Norwegian cyclists there on the first night and the buffet dinner that we were also offered was very reasonable. The second night, with no large group and no buffet, the dinner left a lot to be desired. Booking should be possible via firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the Zapata Swamp, I hadn't pre-booked but, based on previous trip reports my options were (1) Casa Particular Osnedy González Pita (phone +53 459 7133), (2) Casa Particular Nivaldo, (3) Hotel Playa Giron which I was told was better than (4) Hotel Playa Larga but this latter has the advantage of being closer to the guides as well as having a better beach and less mass tourism. We turned up at Osnedy's house using the waypoint from John van der Woude's report and his charming wife told us that, unfortunately, they were booked up. Fortunately, she had a friend who could take us in. This turned out to be Ernesto Delgado Chirino (phone +53 459 87278) who is just across the road from Osnedy and he offered us bed, breakfast and dinner for $25 each. The room was very good with air-con if required (we didn't) and a separate little kitchen / sitting area with a fridge well-stocked with the necessities of life (i.e. lots of beer and bottled water). The breakfasts were excellent and the evening meals were spectacular - lobster twice and fish twice.
On the basis of this excellent experience we decided to stick to casas particulares for the rest of the trip and headed for 2 recommended by our guide, El Chino.
The first was in Camagüey:
Milayda Bermejo Orozco
Carretera Central 266 (Este)
esquina Sociedad Patriotica y Coronel Bringas
Reparto (= District) La Caridad
Telephone: +53 322 29 5378
Unfortunately, she was fully booked but she directed us to a casa particular only 2 blocks up the road:
Carretera Central 456
Reparto La Caridad
Telephone: +53 32 28 8381
This had air conditioning and off-street parking but the food was not great. If Ernesto in Playa Larga was a 5 star casa then this was a two star. The other house looked better.
Finding either of these houses is quite tricky even though they are on the main Carretera Central. Approaching from Ciego d'Avila, keep going straight into Camagüey until you get to a large square with sign-posts to the "Centro Historico" to the left. At this point the Carretera Central splits into 2 one-way streets and you should turn right here. Carry on for about 1 km until the road becomes 2-way again at a petrol station and double back towards town on the other one-way section of the Carretera Central. Both casas particulares are on the left hand side a few blocks later. If you have a GPS the coordinates of the second house are: N 21° 22.184' W 077° 54.328' and there is a map here.
After Camaguey, we stayed in Morón for a couple of nights at:
Sr. Mario Pérez Rodríguez
Casa de Huespedes "Los Cachecos"
Calle Martí No. 247
Ciego de Avila
Phone: +53 33 53630
The food was good and I would rate this 3 stars. You find it by driving on the main road, Calle Martí, past the centre of town where it becomes one-way. It is almost opposite the Banco de Credito y Comercio. They will direct you round the back of the house where there is off-street parking.
There are other casas particulares available and you can find them in the Rough Guide or on the internet. Most internet sites are poor but the best seems to be Casa Particular,
The casa particular system is heavily controlled by the state and they have to offer a minimum standard of accommodation. They pay the state $250 per room per month for the privilege and this has to be paid whether they are full or not. Understandably, the system is monitored and you should not expect to stay with friends or anyone who is not registered. The fines, if you are caught, are very high.
We used the following guides:
At La Guira:
Cesár, who works at the hotel and is more of a keen bird-watcher than a guide. We spent the first afternoon without him and did quite well but he helped us with Olive-capped Warbler, introduced us to the formal gardens at Parque La Guira and also took us to the Cueva de los Portales, Che Guevara's headquarters during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. If you have some bins round your neck Cesár will find you but he does not have playback tapes. He insisted he came with us only for pleasure but we gave him a small tip with which he seemed delighted to the extent that he bought us a couple of beers in the evening.
At Zapata Swamp:
At Bermejas we were "found" by Orlando Ramirez who is the guard at the nature reserve there. He showed us round with great pride, knew where all the birds were but he is not a registered guide. We spent one afternoon with Angel Martinez who we contacted at the Park Office at the entrance to Playa Larga but he was booked up with another group of birders so he passed us on to his brother, Orestes "el chino", the doyen of bird guides at Zapata who can be contacted at email@example.com or by telephone at +53 45 987354 or 915539. Both were excellent with a very good knowledge of the birds as well as tapes which were used sparingly. Orestes is also involved in several worthy projects to help to involve the local community with the conservation of the habitat and its flora and fauna. The standard rate seems to be $10 per person per half day.
Pedro Regalado. Apart from being a thoroughly nice person, Pedro is a very enthusiastic guide and one of the world authorities on the two key species at Najasa: Giant Kingbird and Palm Crow. He has, for example, excellent articles on the Giant Kingbird in Birdlife International's magazine World Birdwatch of December 2002, page 14-15 and in Cotinga 22 (2004): 66-72. His house is easy to find following the directions on the trip reports and it has his name above the gate. Some trip reports have mentioned that it is possible to stay at Pedro's house. This is emphatically not so because it is illegal (see my notes above on "casas particulares")
Tuesday, 8th February:
Arrived early evening at Havana Airport which I thought was reasonably efficient by Latin American standards. Immigration was fairly slow and was followed by an X-ray check of hand baggage. You need a 1 peso coin to hire a baggage trolley and there is a Cadecam or Casa de Cambio at baggage reclaim.
Finding a taxi was no problem and it cost $25 to take us to the Hotel Vitoria in Vedado. We had dinner at a nearby paladar where the portions were enormous as was the bill.
Wednesday, 9th February:
Off to the Habana Libre Hotel to book a car then walked along the Malecon seafront road to Old Havana. This has been well restored unlike some of the surrounding districts. Not surprisingly it is full of tourists and the ever present jineteros. There are a few beggars but all the kids look healthy. There is poverty but, unlike most large cities in South America, no apparent real misery. The street cleaners are a very cheery bunch.
We popped into the Natural History Museum which I am sure does a lot of good work in the field (Orlando Garrido and Arturo Kirkonnell are curators there) but the displays are the usual sad, stuffed specimens. Not really worth the visit. After lunch we went to the Havana Club Rum factory which has a fantastic model railway. The rum wasn't bad either.
Thursday, 10th February:
Visited the Partagás Cigar Factory. This was absolutely fascinating and well worth the visit. The rest of the day was spent wandering round Old Havana.
Friday, 11th February:
Changed some euros in the bank at the Hotel Habana Libre before picking up the car. Driving in Havana is a bit tricky since there are few road signs but, keeping the sun to my left, I knew we were heading west. Eventually we came across the Autopista but I drove across it (no signs again) and it took me a while and an attempt to drive the wrong way up a slip road before we were on it and heading in the right direction.
The Autopista is in reasonable shape and quite quiet. We took the turn-off at John van der Woude's waypoint 042 which is further along the road than the exit suggested by Mark Sutton. I filled up with petrol at the petrol station in San Diego de los Baños which is only a few hundred metres before the Hotel Mirador. We had no problem checking in even without a prior booking.
After a beer and a sandwich, we made our way to the La Guïra Park where we saw some good birds including Cuban Solitaire at the spot mentioned by John van der Woude, and Cuban Trogon. At dinner Cesár introduced himself as a keen birder and we agree to go to La Guïra with him tomorrow.
Saturday, 12th February:
Cesár took us first to the Edwardian folly and artificial lake which you reach by taking the first turning on the left after going through the incredible park entrance. Park in front of the Bar das Flores. Then we continued up the hill to the old cabañas again before returning to the hotel for a spot of lunch.
We returned there after lunch to look for Olive-capped Warbler. We found a few a bit further up the hill than the spot indicated by John van der Woude. They were high up in the pines on either side of the track about 50 metres beyond the junction with the road. I managed to get a reasonable photo.
After that we went to the Cueva de los Portales, the place where Che Guevara set up his command post during the Cuban missile crisis. Cuban Solitaire is supposed to be here but we couldn't find it. I did, however, sit at Che's rock desk and, momentarily, thought about the running dogs of capitalist imperialism.
Sunday, 13th February:
Up at 7:30 but were a bit early for the breakfast staff! Eventually we left at 8:30 and hit the Havana Ring Road (see John van der Woude's map) at 10:30. Using his waypoint 44 we found the correct exit to the Autopista and arrived at the Jaguey Grande crossroads, where we topped up the petrol tank, at about 12:30. We had a beer and a sandwich at the Crocodile Farm - full of visiting Cuban-Americans and very Florida.
On arriving at Playa Larga we found Osnedy's house (John's waypoint 046). They were full but directed us across the road to Ernesto who did have room.
After settling in to our very comfy room we set off for Bermejas and found the track into the reserve. After about ½ an hour Orlando Ramirez, the local park guard, appeared, told us that we required permission and proceeded to show us around with evident pride in the birds on his patch. Amongst others he showed us Cuban Screech-owl, a fleeting glimpse of Grey-headed Ground-dove and a female Bee Hummingbird. I had assumed, from some trip reports, that it was possible to go to places like Bermejas without a guide but this is not so. Strictly speaking, it is not permitted to go anywhere off the roads in the Zapata Park area and you could be arrested if you try so I'm glad Orlando was so understanding.
Dinner that evening was fish soup, grilled lobster, rice and salad. Heaven when accompanied by a few beers.
Monday, 14th February:
Off to the Park Office at the entrance to Playa Grande to look for a guide. There was a bit of a queue so we decided to go to the track behind Pálpite on our own. A successful morning included good views of Cuban Parrot, Cuban Tody and several warblers that were new to me. We also heard and then saw what looked like a female Summer Tanager but, because it was singing, I assume it was a first year male.
Back at the Park Office we met up with Angel Martinez and, after lunch at the Cueva dos Peces, we went with him to Soplillar where, amongst others, we saw Cuban Pygmy-owl, Cuban Vireo and, walking out in the open what Angel identified as a King Rail. I managed to get a photo but, unfortunately the light was behind the bird.
After another excellent dinner of fish, el Chino came round to organise the next day since his brother, Angel, had a prior commitment.
Tuesday, 15th February:
El Chino took us back to Soplillar to a different trail where the star bird was Fernandina's Flicker. We saw one perched at the top of a tree and another foraging on the ground.
After a short visit to the Crocodile Farm, we visited the CITMA visitors' centre which is about 1 km south of Pálpite and then we went back to a different trail at Soplillar which took us right up to the river.
After dinner, I met up with both el Chino and Angel at what they said was a new and very convenient spot for Greater Antillean Nightjar but we had no success.
Wednesday, 16th February:
We headed off towards Santo Tomás in the centre of the Zapata Swamp and rather legendary since it is the type locality for, I think, the 3 Zapata endemics, Zapata Rail, Zapata Wren and Zapata Sparrow. We had a bit of difficulty getting past the Forest Ranger check-point but el Chino sorted that out.
At Santo Tomás we met up with Dr. Ariel Ruiz who works at a field station there and who explained to us the problems currently facing the Zapata Swamp. As I understand it, cultivated, exotic catfish escaped into the swamp as a result of destruction caused by Hurricane "Michelle" in 2001. These catfish are omnivorous and are destroying not only many species of fish but much of the underwater vegetation in the swamp. The effects on the food cycle are potentially catastrophic and could wipe out many birds. The only potential predator of the catfish is the endemic Cuban Crocodile which is becoming much less numerous due to illegal hunting. A fuller description of the project to solve this problem can be found here. If you know of any organisation that might be interested in financing this project or part of it, or if you would be interested in spending time as a paying guest in one of the lodges they hope to set up, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We then set off for the swamp proper and were lucky enough to see both Zapata Sparrow and Zapata Wren which was in its sawgrass habitat. I didn't expect to see Zapata Rail so was not disappointed in that respect. The Forest Rangers had insisted we were out by 2:00 pm so we were back at Playa Larga in the afternoon which we spent swimming in the Bay of Pigs before having another delightful lobster dinner.
Thursday, 17th February:
A day of travel as we headed to Camagüey but we first tried to change some money at the Playa Larga bank. Unfortunately, the power outage the previous afternoon had prevented the bank staff from closing the day (I didn't think banks still did this) so they wouldn't be open for business until about 10:00 am. So we set off.
The journey took us about 6½ hours and is a bit complicated. We took one wrong turning and ended up in Santa Clara (follow the sign post to Sancto Spiritus instead). The road then alternates between dual and single carriageway until it comes to an abrupt stop at Taguasco where the sign "Carretera Central" takes you on a sharp right-hand bend into town. Keep going straight until a T-junction where you turn left than right to a Cimex petrol station (reasonable, clean toilets). Carry on a few kilometres till you meet the old "Carretera Central" where you turn left. There is a good ring-road round Ciego de Avila but there is a "dummy" i.e. wrong signpost to Camagüey just before a railway line. Don't be fooled. Carry straight on around the ring-road.
We arrived at Camagüey but struggled to find our casa particular (see above). When we eventually settled in, we set off to town to look for a casa de cambio but they had all closed. The historic centre was a bit of a shambles and really not worth a visit.
Friday, 18th February:
Off to the casa de cambio first thing so we were a bit late arriving at Najasa and Pedro Regalado's house. Although we hadn't been in touch with him about a visit, he gave us a huge welcome and we spent the day chatting, looking at birds and having a great lunch cooked by his delightful wife, Bertha. If you are in Cuba you should not miss spending some time with this great character. We saw 3 of the main birds of the area: Giant Kingbird, Cuban Palm Crow and Cuban Parakeet and then went to a nearby reservoir where we saw Plain Pigeon and a couple of Osprey fishing as well as other water birds.
Saturday, 19th February:
To Morón which is about a 2-hour drive. We find the casa particular recommended by el Chino then set off across the long causeway (almost 30km) to Cayo Coco (named after the coco or Ibis). After passing through a passport control (presumably to keep ordinary Cubans away from the fancy hotels and beaches full of Europeans and North Americans) you pay $2 per car each way at the toll booth.
We eventually head towards Cayo Guillermo in search of Bahama Mockingbird. We found the spot indicated by John van der Woude but no Mockingbird. Walking westward about 100 metres we came across the first and found 2 more even further west. It is really quite distinctive compared to Northern Mockingbird.
A nice evening meal was accompanied by a bottle of "Tinama" beer. The label said "10°" and "500ml" but there was no way it was half that strength and it only contained 350ml. Defence of the consumer is obviously not a priority!
Sunday, 20th February:
Off across the causeway again with first stop at Cayo Paredón Grande. When you get to the eastern end of Cayo Coco, there is a broken, metal bridge so you have to cross on a dilapidated stone bridge. The road to Cayo Paredón Grande has a locked barrier but there is someone at the nearby houses who will unlock it. There seemed to be no charge but $1 delighted him.
Arriving at the lighthouse, we parked and went looking for Thick-billed Vireo at John van der Woude's waypoint 053. On the way we passed a small group of Cuban Gnateater so they were in a slightly different position to that shown by John. There was no sign of Thick-billed Vireo (hardly surprising since I had no playback) so I went to the spot indicated by el Chino - back to the lighthouse, turn right along the most northerly track for about 100-200 metres. Still no sign but we did see another Bahama Mockingbird.
We returned to Cayo Coco and had an excellent lobster lunch (well it was our last day) at the restaurant on Flamingo Beach. We then headed for the Cuevas Jabali but that seemed to have been taken over by a bunch of hippies who wanted to show us around so we went to the lake on the other side of the road instead. On the way we stopped off at a short trail indicated by el Chino whose entrance is on the western side of the road exactly 1 km from the main road. This is supposed to be a good spot for the local sub-species of Zapata Sparrow which we didn't find but we did come across another pair of Cuban Gnateaters. Although Dave Sargeant had seen many good birds at the lake, when we arrived it was totally dry presumably as a result of the terrible drought they have been having in Cuba. A consolation was the last endemic we were to see in Cuba, the Oriente Warbler.
One thing that puzzled me was the total lack of Flamingos so we took the opportunity of having a beer on the top of a small tower at the north of the causeway at "La Silla" to scan the evening horizon. Not a flamingo in sight. Then suddenly I noticed one solitary bird just by the side of the causeway. We rushed down, paid for our beers and crept up on the bird which I thought was a suitable final photo for an excellent trip.
Monday, 21st February:
I had planned to travel back to Havana along the coast road but managed to get hopelessly lost. So I decided to go back to Ciego de Avila and along the Carretera Central and Autopista. We stopped for lunch at the Crocodile Farm again. On approaching the Havana ring-road, I decided to turn right towards the tunnel and this proved a good move since it was relatively easy to navigate and it took us out on the Malecon from where it was easy to find the Habana Libre Hotel. We checked in the car and one of the Transtur drivers gave us a lift in it to the airport and so on our way back to Scotland.
You will find a species list here.