Cuba, Varadero – The Most Beautiful Beaches and More
This time, a young Cuban was our driver. He decided to pass every car (even the police) in his old, loud Renault. He phoned while driving, fastened his seatbelt in the high speed once he spotted a police patrol (it is quite paradoxical that there are signs notifying aobut police patrols so a driver knows when to expect the police). And while driving on the freeway he conversed with his friends in the car next to us he had met at a gas station. Once we point out about his risky behaviour behind the wheel. And two times he literally got scolded. This was without any success. Yet even this time we survived and any harm didn't come upon us. It is good to note that a bus ride would take 5 hours at least.
We stayed at Casa Berta y Alfredo situated very close to the beach. Rooms as well as beds are rather small yet the price of 35 CUC per night (around 800 CZK) is very nice. Moreover, you can have a delicious lobster for dinner. Breakfasts or snacks are no problem here. The garden features many comfortable sunbeds. Lizards with tortous tails run about all the time. Berta y Alfredo, the married couple owning the guest house, don't speak English at all yet they try to help as much as they can. However, it is better to arrange for another transport by yourself. You can save some money.
In Varader (like in Habana), you can take the scenic bus. It costs only 5 CUC (ca. 110 CZK) and you can ride it all day long. There are many stops along this bus' line. However, by waving you can stop the bus anywhere. We set off toa Sendero Cueva de Ambrosio – a road and a cave hiding pictograms made by slaves who took shelter here in the distant past. Moreover, about 5 bat species occur here. You can even take pictures of them from up close. The entrance including an English commentary costs 5 CUC. We highly recommend it. The cave is huge and features sevreal airholes also providing sun light. Morover, lianas get here through these holes. The view is amazing.
Once we finished our tour in the cave we moved on to see the 500 year old cactus on El Patriarca nature trail (about 2.5 kilometers from the cave). It is not particularly pleasant experience walking between hotels when getting to the trail. Unfortunately, the Cubans don't care where they throw away their garbage. However, it is worth to endure and get to your destination.
Book guides inform about possibility to ride on a paddle boat in Parque Retiro Josone which features a lake in its middle. We passed this lake on our tour bus. The park is really small and you have to pay entrance fee. In this case it is rather somewhat unecessary getting money out of tourists' pockets. You can see the entire park from the bus giving you some extra space to decide if you want to go there or not.
The rest of our stay on the island were spent on a beach, relaxing. There is a 20-kilometer white sand beach on a spit of land named Hicacos. Local blue sea is mostly wild with strong waves. Don't expect a good swim here. On the other hand, there is some magic to swing on some of less powerful waves and to discovering the true might of the atlantic Ocean. I hope I will return here some day.
Text and photos: Veronika Schubertová
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