Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Holy crap, Cuba is an awesome place that should not exist, it's too awesome. We had an amazing relaxing and adventure filled time in Cuba after exams. Lisa and Katie and Chris and I went down to Varadero for a week and stayed at a pretty cheap resort that was still amazing, Club Puntarena. We had perfect weather and did some amazing day trips: into Havanna, went to a deserted island on a catamaran and swimming with the dolphins, and walking into the town of Varadero then took a bus tour of the peninsula and all the resorts. It was pretty sweet to just lay on the big white sand beach and drink all day and night.
Thing's I'll never forget:
-crazy flight schedules (TO right after exam, then quick terminal change and off to Cuba, last ones to check in, haha)
-singing Feist on the moving sidewalks at Pearson
-the sketchy Cuba airport, no trouble entering the country, and then beers on our tour bus
-Morty and Sally, our stray dog friends since the first night
-swan towels, canal view, amazing pool, neon night shows, bubba kegs, wave rolling, coconut drinks, crystal cerveca, all you can eat dining room and pasta bar, Al Capone's house, crazy market in town, cars from the '50s, sunsets, and pesos
-resort with 5 bars open 24hrs
-smoking a Cuban cigar on the beach and the midnight burger club
-losing or having the camera stolen on the island
-amazing sights in Havanna: revolution square, cemetery, cigar shop, old buildings, the capitolio
-being out of commission for a full day from traveller's sickness, gahhh
It's nuts how environmentally self-sufficient they are. Mostly because it's a communist country, but it still shows it could be done. They have a lot of local food and really low oil dependence. Unlike most places with a beach full of resorts, there was still beach access for all the local people. A lot of the streets lead right to the beach, and we saw a lot of local fishermen near our resort. It was cool to see the culture of the place too. We got to go into the village of Varadero, not just see the resort. Our tour guide on way to Havanna was also really interesting. On the 2 hour drive in he talked about communism, the collapse of the USSR and how it affected Cuba, and how most people work 2 jobs (one government required job and something else on the side, like fixing cars or babysitting, to pay the bills). You can't build any new houses their either, so there is nice big houses next to slum houses with 2 or 3 stacked levels.
It sucked to leave, but I really hope we get to go back soon. Anyone, next April?