I’m took off to an all inclusive resort in the party town of Varadero in Cuba.
Although I’m not the one to go to touristy places, this doesn’t seem too bad since I will be with 3 of my girlfriends. The exciting part: all you can drink alcohol 24/7!
We checked into our hotel around 10pm and it is much bigger and better than we imagined. Our hotel (Playa Caleta) is also known to be the #1 spot for singles (exciting!). As soon as we freshened up, we were off to the bar to celebrate my friend Thusha’s 25th birthday (which was at midnight) with an abundance of mojitos and lotsa other Cuban cocktails which I don’t remember the names for but were made with heaps of rum.
I foresee a lot of partying and consumption of gross Western catered Cuban food (the horror stories make me not even wanna eat at these resorts). For what it’s worth, it is relaxing and totally worth what we paid for 7 days.
chillin in Havana on the steps of a govt building
Thusha and I did a day trip to the capital of Havana which is about 2 hours from Varadero.
Although I hate guided tours, this one wasn’t bad because our guide was a cute Cubano who was quite witty.
We spent half the day in old Havana which is very European and colonial. We went to a museum where we got to see the moose that Castro shot in Canada and shipped back to Cuba just so it could be hung.
It’s annoying how greedy all the workers are here; you have to PAY to get toilet paper! I know that in Europe you are paying a few cents to use the potty, but to have to “tip” a peso every time you gotta go is ridiculous! We have started to carry our own.
Thusha and I got lost somehow from our group so we ended up wandering the streets of old Havana on our own; no one knew English so we were left to fend for ourselves. It was prolly the most adventurous part of the trip. We did manage to meet with our group and were herded to eat lunch at a nice outdoor restaurant along side the bay, with a Cuban band performing in the background. The live music is everywhere you go and pretty great.
Our guide gave us a quick run through of Cuban history as well as American relations. Everything in around the city is somewhat based on the revolution. We also got to go to another market and a cigar factory before heading to Revolution Square where the Uno de Mayo parade will be taking place the following day (its a stat holiday where everyone celebrates May and Cuba).
It was great driving through all the lil towns, they are so authentic and each one has its own history and story. For such a small country, Cuba has a lot to offer. The random baseball diamonds with kids playing baseball really amused, along with the man in the yellow: the communist answer to hitch hiking (not sure if I got it all but the man takes your name before placing you in random cars to get to your destination, this way it is safer if you go missing).
It was my quick dash of Cuban culture and I loved every lil bit of it!
Lazing on the beach.. drinking mojitos.. partying till sunrise.. lots and lots of eye candy.. I can get used to this!
I rode my first moped ever the other day; the nice Cuban man with little to nothing English gave me and my friend Julia a lesson for an hour, after which my other two friends chickened out and we had to tell him we didn’t want to rent it.
It’s definitely a bit shady in this part of the world and you do have to act with a little bit more discretion, but being overly anxious and cautious can be a downer since that means just staying on the resort for most of your trip. Then again, that’s what these people want so you don’t get to see the REAL face of Cuba.
We have been meeting heaps and heaps of people, mostly Canadians and Cubans that work on the resort. It’s appalling the conditions that the workers live in, but here, working on a resort is equivalent to a high power job in North America.
I was walking around with my Carter jersey the other day and got offers for it from pretty much everyone at the resort (the workers) to random Cubans on the street since American imports are non-existent here.
Partying has been really fun because we finally went into the town rather than sticking to the resort clubs which feels like you never left Toronto. We went to The Cave one night with some other Torontonians and it was cool club which resembles an actual cave inside. La Castille is on the beach and has an indoor and outdoor patio area to dance and lounge. Another place we went to had an outdoor stage and a live salsa band. Too bad the bathrooms had no doors!!
The second they hear your Canadian accent, people view you as an ATM and begin to hustle (probably the worst bit of being here) but I guess you can’t blame them since we do live in a FIRST world country.
Being in a place like this really makes you appreciate the small things, but sadly most people just come here to utilize the beach and feed the travel industry rather than really see what the culture and the people are about.