Our First Day In Cuba.

Blog post is courteous of my travel journal entries. I kept track of everything in my travel journal, since I left my computer behind and we had no internet in Cuba.

Once we got through customs, and were able to collect our luggage we headed outside towards a group of buses. Each bus was headed towards a different resort, and it was important that we get on the right one unless we wanted to pay for a taxi.

We were able to find our bus without any major hiccups, and were told by our bus guide that he had beer for sale for the ride. We never bought any but quite a few people on our bus did, the ride from the airport to our resort was over an hour-long. Our guide told us interesting facts about Cuba, and also some odd facts that make you think why.

Facts about Cuba:

  • You can’t purchase property in Cuba unless you are Cuban, if you move to Cuba and marry a Cuban the house must be in their name.
  • Around Holguin, Cuba they are especially proud of a beer drinking donkey, named Panchito yup you read that right a donkey that drinks beer.
  • Most Cubans don’t own a vehicle, it’s considered a luxury item and the ones that do own vehicles use it as a taxi for mostly tourists.
  • You need medical insurance to get into the country, and vaccines.
  • If you are looking to travel somewhere for the delicious food, you might want to reconsider. Cuba is not known for its food, the food is very bland if you go it should be for the culture.
  • If you pack anything needing batteries, make sure you bring tons of extras you won’t find batteries in Cuba it’s like they are non-existent.
  • If you are traveling to Cuba, make sure that you turn your cellphone on airplane mode. Even if you turn the data off on your mobile device, your phone company will still continue to charge you unless it’s on airplane mode!
  • Learn some Spanish, even if you only know some basic words. If you don’t know how to speak Spanish, many people will treat you bad or even speak about you in front of you. They might even try charging you more money, since they know you don’t speak their native tongue.
When you first get to the resort, there’s a lounging area, and a bar area where you can sit and enjoy a drink both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

Our resort was all-inclusive and once we got off the bus we got offered some alcoholic drinks. While we stood in line waiting for over half an hour, for our room key we quickly noticed that this “family friendly” resort was a place for drinkers. When it was our turn to get our key, the staff at the front desk were rude and unhelpful.

The women’s washroom had a toilet fallen on its side, their was poop and pee all over the floor. On my way out of the washroom, a lady mentioned that the toilet had been like that since she got there (6 days before). Once we got our key we got driven to our room, and dropped our stuff off. Despite the beauty of the resort, there was dozens and dozens of cats the smell of cat was in the air.

We knew then that we wanted to see about changing resorts, so we went to talk to the Sunwing Rep he told us his day had just finished and he’d help us the next day. We went back to the front desk to ask them about WIFI, so that we’d be able to look up another resort on our phones but they just said “No WIFI now.” They didn’t give any explanation as to when there would be WIFI, or anything at all but we noticed a ton of people in the lobby area using the WIFI.

Some of the courtyard.

By this time we were frustrated, and everyone was hungry. There’s only really two locations to get food, not including the restaurants you’ve got to book and reserve a spot at. The first place is where you’re able to get a variety of foods, most people go to the cafeteria for breakfast, lunch and supper. However this wasn’t an option for us since they keep strict meal hours, and they had just finished lunch then closed for clean up until the next meal time.

The Cafeteria and dinning area.

Our only other option to go for something to eat during non-meal hours, was to head over to the Snack Shack. As we headed in that direction we noticed one of the locals in the lobby, he was holding a baby alligator and he also had a bird with him. When in Cuba.. I knew I wanted a picture holding the alligator, we patiently waited our turn.Then my mom and I each got to hold the alligator, the kids weren’t allowed in-case it’s mouth restraint came off. Which I didn’t disagree with, but they were allowed to pet him when the man held him. He asked if the kids wanted the bird to sit on them, and the girls were excited with the idea and Zaden straight up said no.Since the kids weren’t able to hold the alligator, I wanted to quickly get a family picture of us with them in the picture. Naturally the bird was getting a little antsy, being moved from person to person so we decided I’d have him on my head since I was the least likely to move.

The Snack Shack.

Once we finished we headed towards the Snack bar, but not before mom was able to book a reservation for us to eat supper at the Italian restaurant. We ordered our food a the Snack Shack, and decided afterwards we’d head down and check out the beach.

This became our go-to order, whenever we were hungry.

My first taste of Cuban food, I won’t lie I was disappointed it’s so bland. Their ketchup tastes like running BBQ sauce, and not the good kind if you visit Cuba you should definitely pack a bottle of ketchup!

The beach was gorgeous, and probably the best thing we had seen all day. Seeing the kids play in the sand, and we watched the ocean. It was extremely calming, there wasn’t anyone else around. That’s when I felt an overwhelming sense of peace, no matter what the resort was like the view and the feeling of that moment was worth it.

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