Diner at the "International" a la carte restaurant. The food was excelent!
I have ventured to a few tropical locations in Hawaii and Mexico, but none have won me over like Cuba. You see pictures of places like this and can't believe they really exist...but I found it! Cuba is one of the most beautiful places I have been to in the world. The sand is white and soft, and the colors of the ocean amaze you in their brilliance.
Being a beach bum that I am, I was obsessed with the ocean and took many mindless walks along the beach at all times of the day. I especially enjoyed the quiet morning walks, with the tide out and the sand as smooth as silk. I found it fascinating to watch the tide as the day progressed.
We spent most of our time at the resort (Tryp Cayo Coco) and were a little leery when we arrived in the pouring rain and had to manuveur our over packed luggage through throngs of people (mostly families), but as the days progressed, we found the "younger" side of the resort and met some wonderful travel companions who became great friends!
On our second day at the resort, we decided to indulge in a horseback ride along the beach.
Nicole giving us the tour our first day.
One would think this is a great idea, but with my lack of experience on horses and my height, it turned out to be quite challenging! Shonna galloped by relaxed - enjoy the scenery and my awkward body flailing around. We saw the local vegetation and enjoyed a short jaunt down the beach. I was surprised to see all the random piles of garbage strewn in the bushes and wondered how it got there. Shonna enjoyed laughing at me as I tried to walk away from my horse...my knees seized up due to the short stirrups, but all in all, it was an interesting adventure I am glad we took!
Mid week, we hired a van and took a 2.5 hour trip to the nearest city, Moron, where most of the resort employees live. It was like walking onto a movie set.
More ocean views.
There were people everywhere, doing everything from dancing, snoozing to drinking cold beers. The cars were reminiscent of the 1960's on the streets of Russia. Few people worked, and we were told they usually check in to work in the morning and then take the rest of the day off. Being a tall blonde was very unnerving as I got A LOT of stares. I started to feel very uncomfortable and was glad to be in the capable hands of our guide (a resident of Moron and a worker at the resort). The drive back from Moron also felt surreal. The landscape is surprisingly dry and scrubby with few trees. As we drove, there were large groups of people gathered in the middle of no where, chasing any large farm truck to hitch a ride. We were lucky enough to visit a Cuban farmer and his wife and were thankful for the juicy fresh fruit they served us!
The next day, Shonna and I headed on to our snorkelling excursion.
The warm and clear waters of the Caribbean!
We were put onto a large catermaran and taken to the middle of the Caribbean. Shonna and I made quite an interesting scene, with her fear of swimming and my fear of fish. Needless to say, we survived and even started to enjoy ourselves. We were treated to a seafood lunch, and thanks to the strong beverages drank throughout the day, I was able to conquer my fear of eating seafood and I devoured a couple of freshly caught prawns. The day was absolutely lovely, although the bus ride home was most embarrassing when the driver had to pull over so a couple of us could "relieve" ourselves in the middle of the highway...nothing like the seeing Cuba in that way!
I will definitely go back to Cuba. The people are amazing and the view second to none.
The infamous horseback ride!
Even though I wore 30 SPF sunscreen everyday, the sun was so intense that I returned almost black, so next time I will be sure to bring more coverups!
It was a wonderful week of fun in the sun!