Today I decided to conquer my “fear” of the AI resort, aka hang around the resort and explore the Varadero beaches. For January, the weather was in the 70s and 80s (Farenheit) but it was overcast, so everyone had a light cardigan or shirt on. It quickly reminded me of the first time I went to Brighton in England. It was May where everyone was loving the beach ambience but it was chilly enough where literally everyone had sweaters on and boots. It was a comical sight.
A few things I observed today, first, everyone is enjoying a cigarette. So definitely bring your nicotine tolerance when you come. I make this observation not because I am estranged to the smoking culture, which I am not especially living in Europe. But in this case people were enjoying the many flavours and types of Cigars manufactured in Cuba. Whether it morning, noon, or night, people were cutting or lighting up Cigars and enjoying it with a side of a rum cocktail. I have to say the smell of cigars was quite inviting. I have yet to engage yet, but perhaps I will once I am educated on the process.
Second, Cuba is diverse and very friendly. I make this note for a couple of reasons. For my gay friends, interracial couples, lads on tour, etc., definitely don’t worry, you are welcome. It’s actually been nice and quite refreshing to get away from the mayhem that is occurring in the United States and around the world. While I am slightly reminded of it because CNN Breaking News seems to be the norm now, it is nice to hear and see people enjoying their life.
Third, I will make this statement now, but who knows maybe it will change over the next few days, but I AM NOT, a beach resort person. I kind of knew this already but I am really wanted to force myself to relax. While I love the idea of sitting on a beach and the resort staff bringing over drinks and filling up your cup all the time, or the fact that you can show up to the resort unorganized, and if you want to do a day trip they have dedicated travel agencies on site to help you plan your day (at what seems like a cheaper price than what I have found on GOOGLE), it is not the holiday for me. Perhaps I will try again, with someone else or a group for a shorter amount of time, but I love to be active. You know running, hiking, skiing, really immersing oneself in the local culture etc. So the enforced people-to-people excursions are great for me, as it forces me to get off the resort. I will venture out tomorrow and explore Havana and then maybe do a boat trip to another part of the Cuba for a day. For now, like everyone else, I will enjoy my book (John Grisham- Time to Kill- I know I know, I am WAY Behind); Girl on a Train seems most popular right now, and my select dinners (i.e. non-buffet), which is quite enjoyable alongside the local bands.
I am eager to see what Cuba really has to offer tomorrow on my tour. More to come…