Saturday in Cuba was great – because we had no excursions planned and more importantly nothing to get up early for! It was a enjoyable lie in.
I’d never been on an “all inclusive” holiday before, or any sort of holiday at a resort and apart from Barcelona, I’d never gone on a sunny beach holiday either. I didn’t think I would enjoy sitting about doing nothing, but after the previous two busy days I felt it necessary to take advantage of it.
We had massages booked for later in the morning so to kill some time we walked up to the shops outside the hotel to get some water and have a nosy. After that we were so warm we got a beer and sat outside the shops for a bit.
We got back to the hotel and Leona went for her massage first so I had another drink and had a sit by the pool. A Christmas Tree had been erected and the staff were dressing it. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of something I associate with winter to the sunny weather we were getting.
While I was waiting one of the staff walked passed me and shouted “Hey, Che Guevara!” and gave me a thumbs up. I laughed and waved but thought nothing on it. Five minutes later I heard “Hey, Che Guevara! Do you want to go shooting?”. I turned round and he was holding a rifle! Maybe my beard inspired him for some sort of coup d’état – or maybe he was trying to get numbers for Hotel activities – either way I politely declined and went to get my massage.
I’d never got a full body massage before and it was very relaxing. It wasn’t part of the “all inclusiveness” so we had to pay about 30CUC – but we’re on holiday, so why not? After my massage I met Leona again and we hung out by the pool for a few hours, occasionally having a swim to go to the bar within the pool.
We soon decided to take a wander to the market. The directions given were walk to the end of the beach and keep walking, and we did! We even passed another hotel and a few scenic bits of beach before we got to the market.
We got there not long before closing time but we still managed to get a look around and pick up a few bits and pieces. Most of it was tat but I spotted a pair of bongos and inquired how much they cost. “15 pesos” was the reply and a gave some extended “uh-ing” and “ah-ing” followed by “I don’t know if it’d fit in my suitcase”. Undeterred the woman behind the stall added some sort of woodblook to the deal, and started to demonstrate all it’s uses (one) by tapping it. “Oh, I’d have no use for that!” I replied so she added another incentive of a necklace and put it over Leona’s neck. It was this I gave up and bought the bongos, a woodblock and a necklace for 15CUC.
Despite my stalling Leona knew rightly I wasn’t leaving that market without the bongos! I also bought Leona a wooden carving of an Owl (she loves owl stuff!) and managed to barter a wee bracelet for 5CUC. After our the fun of bartering and buying we bought a wee ice cream/drink from a café and walked back to the hotel!
Once we got back to the hotel I played the bongos while Leona got ready for dinner, then I got ready for dinner! We got there early again so had a few drinks by the pool bar in the Villa area.
Tonight’s “a la carte” dinner was in a restaurant called Bucenero, which is also the name of the other beer you can buy in Cuba and the only beer served in this restaurant. It’s a bit maltier than Cristal so less to Leona’s taste. When taking the drinks order Leona asked for some lime to go with the beer, not what I thought was an unusual request (bear in mind its common for Mexican / South American beers to be served with lime – and we’re near Mexico), but the waiter was a bit surprised and said “I’ll see what I can do” and disappeared off.
Quite a while passed and we had resigned ourselves to not getting beer but then the waiter came in the front door with a bag full of limes. Leona felt bad as she had the image in her head of the waiter running into the village to buy limes. Soon enough, our beers arrived with a plate of limes.
For the starter I got Bolitas de Queso (deep fried balls of cheese) which were really nice. Leona got the shrimp and she really like it too (she doesn’t tend to like fish). For the main I got some beef dish, can’t remember what it was called but I liked it too. The desert was nice as well. All in all the food was a lot better than the last time.
There were two woman on the table beside us and one of them audibly gurning about the food, she then left. The other woman started talking to us and it turned out she lives about two miles from my house. Small world and all that.
After dinner we hung out by the pool bar and considered going to the beach party. A German couple sat with us for a bit. They were retired and were driving around Cuba for a month. They also drank fancier rum than Havana Club!
We didn’t make it to the beach party as we were tired but as we headed back to the hotel a heavy rain shower suddenly hit and we could hear the ones on the beach scream and the music stopped. I’m assuming the beach party ended so we didn’t miss much.