JOURNEY TO A BEACH…OR AT LEAST WE THOUGHT SO😊
Apparently, our trip to Vinales was a rather lucky one because this time our taxi was a run-down Lada Niva. Oh, and to top it off, three of us were crammed in the back seat. Even though at first, Bojan and I were alone in the cab and I conveniently sat behind the driver’s seat, somehow, Murphey’s law got to me and I managed to get rammed into the middle of the bench at the back with no seatbelt what so ever. That wasn’t an obstacle for the driver and speedometer reached at least 100km/h on highway and adding the bumpy road, I’ve almost hit my head several times in the rooftop. And of course due to opened windows noise of wind and engine were deafening. Oh, what would life be without adventure! 😉 Somehow, we managed to survive our trip to the outskirts of Havana, where our fearless driver handed us over to one of his friends.
‘Fantastic’, I thought to myself: Scam no. 1. Even though we paid for a ‘taxi collectivo’ to take us all the way to our next destination, we had to finish the last stretch of the journey in an overhauled truck; a common sight found on Cuba. And again, we were crammed like sardines in a can. Our only accompaniment was the rusty old door, which functioned as a makeshift radio set – if you can call those sounds music – and there was plenty of fresh air. 😉 Bojan came down with a toothache – I wonder why…
Fail no. 2? Illiteracy is a seldom thing today, but somehow I managed to misinterpret the info I read about the town of Playa Giron; for some reason, I thought it was a snorkelling heaven when in reality are only a few short stretches of strands there. Plus, the owner of the house in which we stayed, had conflicting meanings as to what ‘proximity’ means. For her, staying in a house a mile from the beach was the same as staying at a beachside abode. To be frank, however, there was no way of getting closer than a few hundred yards to the beach, as the seaside there is one hotel complex with countless bungalows, majority of them abandoned and in decay. For me, it seemed like a surrealistic scene, as children played and horses grazed the grass amidst the crumbling facades of the once lush and beautiful resort. Even though we saw some tour-busses arriving at the reception, there were very little tourists in sight, the bar was a desolate wasteland and the greenish water in the pool was a clear sign, that no one had gone into that puddle in a long time. They view would be nice, but sadly the hotel iss protected from the rambling waves by a high concrete wall, which completely veils the view. Yet, a single night still costs well over 100 euro, as does every other hotel on Cuba. It seems that someone had dreams of grandeur when they decided to build this resort, but something went slightly wrong along the way.
But hey, at least we’re still in the Caribbean after all! 😊 Despite the 8hour journey we decided to slip into our bathing suits and walked to the beach. The beach in Playa Giron isnn’t a particularly breath-taking sight to behold – at first glance it looked like a sandy paradise but was in reality filled with small pebbles, stones and seaweed inside the water. The whole thing looked eerily familiar not to the Caribbean, but to the seaside town of Poreč back home. But no biggy – a cold refreshing beer on the beach, whilst the sun hid behind the horizon made everything worthwhile as we outlined the plan for the next two days – and in the end we enjoyed staying there! 😊