Victor & Joanne's Cuban Adventure travel blog

The turquoise waters are endless

Teresa left us these huge birds...she's precious

Our dinnr at the Mexican Restaurant ... wih the pig bbq

The choreographer at Barlovento ... a real drill sargent

February 3 - Barlovento, Varadero

We are already losing track of what day it is, so we must be on vacation! We both slept very well and right through to 8:55 (5:55 Victoria time). Since our meeting with the WestJet Vacations rep, Eddie, is at 9:00, we both dress quickly and bolt out the door. Eddie is originally from Ecuador and has been with WJV for two years. When we explain that we're here for the month, he says, "So, you're the people." Apparently, we have been the topic of conversation amongst WJV staff. He if very helpful and makes sure we have his mobile number in case we hit any "issues" while travelling.

After a decent breakfast--lots of egg options, cereal, fruit, sweat breads and very good espresso--we head into town to sort out some details (internet, bus to Havana, flash drive). Our main challenge is that Joanne cannot find the flash drive that she's sure she brought ... despite both of us hunting through her pack. When we find the internet location, Victor tries to explain what we need (in Spanish and English). Despite his best efforts, no one quite gets it. Finally, a young man carrying a leather case helps; he is a school teacher on his way to work. Apparently they are called ""memoria flash" and are like gold. After checking a friend and then another friend, he leaves us at an official office to see what he can find. Back he comes 15 minutes later to days he has an 8Gb drive for 50CUC (about 60 Canadian). We graciously decline, thank him profusely and give him a bit of cash for his effort.

Up the main street a dozen blocks to Calle 41, we find a store for locals that sells a myriade of non-rationed items (electronics, pharmacy and more) where we buy a 2Gb drive for 20CUC. Now we can transfer photos and our email drafts to the computer at the internet cafe. Joanne continues to feel guilty about forgetting the flash drive.

Our next task is to find out about buses to Havana. On Calle 36 (street 36) and toward the opposite sides of the peninsula from the beach, close to the Autopista, we find the bus station (Terminal de Omnibus). The tourist bus is the Viazul; tourists are not permitted to ride the buses for locals, especially from tourist areas like Varadero. Outside of the bus terminal, a cluster of young men offers private cars for hire. Since the bus is 10CUC each, their offer of 50CUC for the car seems quite steep. However, some haggling would likely bring down the price. When they hear that we are leaving Saturday, they stop negotiating.

Our final stop is the internet cafe and, as is our usual situation, we take time to figure out the system. The staff here is lackluster in terms of customer service and we muddle through with the help of another internet user. Cost is 6CUC per hour.

Back "home" we enjoy some time at the pool (unheated and chilly), a pre-dinner drink and another delightful buffet dinner before heading to the theatre for the evening show. We are, once again, impressed with the evening performances at Cuban all inclusives. The "Magic Show" includes 4 magicians who are all quite talented...disappearing act, card tricks, some audience participation with disappearing clothing (quite funny) and they usual knife-through-the-box-with-woman-inside trick.

Home to bed just after 11 and pooped!

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