Monday, February 24, 2014

Cuba 2014 - Part 3

Back again! Here's the last installment of photos from my trip to Varadero, Cuba. 

The second to last day we spent on the beach. Feeling the impending doom of returning to cold, snowy Canada, we wanted to soak up as much sun, heat and loveliness as possible, and I think we were all a bit tired from the previous days' action.. It was also Valentines Day! We figured the trip was present enough though, so no huge romantic gestures or events for the boyfriend and myself ;)

Just the boyfriend and I at breakfast. It was a low-key morning :)

The waves were huge this day and really fun to jump in!
We relaxed on the beach all afternoon. It was "Cuba Day" at the resort and they had a yummy barbeque by the beach, which we enjoyed. 
Our plan for the evening was to go into downtown Varadero, to a restaurant recommended to us by one of the resort staff. She said they have the best lobster in Varadero. 
 Again, no pictures of this unfortunately.. Too busy living life I suppose ;) We took taxis into downtown, and shopped at the large market square they have there. We bought some souvenirs for ourselves and friends/family.

I love these salad tongs, for my sister and her husband.

And a little t-shirt for my soon to be niece or nephew! (excitement!!)

A car made out of Coca Cola cans! I thought this was awesome haha. For my little cousin.
After the market we made our way to the restaurant, which was small, but you could tell the food was going to be amazing. If you're ever in Varadero, it's called La Rampa Restaurant on 43rd Street. We all ordered the 2 lobster tails (15 pesos) and some beers. We all scarfed it down pretty fast and it was really delicious. The lobster was cooked in tons of garlic, and it came with sticky rice and some vegetables. We all enjoyed it so much, I wish I had a picture to show you!
After dinner we decided we didn't want to pay for taxis back, and we knew there was a double decker bus that takes you back to all the resorts for 5 pesos a person (6 of us), as opposed to 40 pesos for two taxis, we'd seen it dropping people off outside the market, so we were going to walk back that way. But then one of our friends saw one of the charter type buses parked on the road and there were no passengers, only the driver. So he went and asked if he would take us back to our resort and the driver said yes! And only 3 pesos a person. I don't think he's normally supposed to do that sort of thing, but he made a few extra pesos for himself. It was one of those funny, spontaneous things that happen when you're on vacation..but I definitely wouldn't always recommend getting into a strange vehicle in a foreign country. We recognized the company of the bus he was driving though, so we felt safe enough. 

We spent our final night in Cuba on the beach after dark, (drinking of course) and we built a shelter out of the stacked beach chairs because it was a really windy, kind of chilly night. 
Two security guards came by and we all had a really nice chat with them, they hung out with us all night until we left. It was interesting to talk to them about their lives, and if they enjoy their work, etc. They said resort jobs are pretty good jobs to get in Cuba, if you can. The language barrier was kind of funny, lots of miming and hand gestures. The security guards were very friendly, and both had families, so we gave a lot of the clothes and things we'd brought, to them to take home. They were very grateful and gave one of our friends a nice bottle of rum! 
It was a great way to spend our last night. Chatting and drinking with friends, old and new, reminiscing about the trip, and life in general. 

The beach after dark. No one around but us!
The next day was our final one in Cuba. Our bus to the airport didn't leave until 6pm, so after breakfast and checking out, we stored our luggage at reception and spent the last hours by the Rock Pool. We were all a bit hungover, and just wanted to relax before our flight. We discovered a giant checker board outside by the Rock Pool, so a couple of us played while the others watched from the shady benches. We were all pretty tired from the last couple days, so we actually napped by the pool, under a small hut/umbrella, it was actually really nice. 

Goodbye Cuba!

Eventually it was time to get changed, and hop on the bus to the airport. Our flight was a little bit delayed, and we got back to Canada around 2am. Needless to say, we did not accomplish much the next day haha. 

It really was a great trip. It was my first time traveling with friends as opposed to family or significant other, and I really enjoyed it; lots of memories made. We've already been talking about where we'd want to go next year! Any suggestions?

All photo cred. goes to my boyfriend and myself.

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