I’m here!!! In Cuba!
Getting off the plane, I could have been on any lovely
temperate island – beautiful, brilliant shimmering shades of green, palms and
small trees, bushes and grass surround the asphalt runway warmed by gentle
balmy winds, beneath deep azul skies with a small heap of gray clouds hovering
in the distance behind the airport building. And yes, one airport building that
we walk to after de-boarding down a set of portable stairs wheeled over to the
A short but beautiful rainbow shines through the clouds like
an exclamation mark! A fabulous welcoming. I totally forget the Spanish word
for rainbow I just learnt – I know it is arc-something, so I am unable to point
it out to the several short-sleeved uniformed womyn and men who stand casually
marking the path we are to take into the large, one roomed building where our
luggage is beginning to spin slowly around on the two conveyer belts.
As we wait, a dog appears to be happily weaving his way
through the tourists standing around, gathering their things, before heading
toward customs. I see he has a leather collar and think how quaint, allowing a
dog thru customs before I realize he’s really methodically searching everyone’s
luggage and beings for something, drugs maybe? Surely not weapons or food.
All of us tourists are herded into one of the 20 or so buses
parallel parked to each other. It is now almost night so our hour trip to
Guardalavaca will take place in the dark – so much for seeing Cuba. Anyway the
interior bright lights are kept on the entire way so we can only see our high
definition images reflected as clearly as any mirror.
My first misgivings start creeping in as the bus driver
hands out free beers. When I found out alcohol was free, it was not a draw for
me but I didn’t take into account how many folks will be coming here to drink
themselves into oblivion. Drunk tourists…grrrrr.
At the hotel, I find out the dinner buffet ends at 9:30 and
I finish registering at 9:20 so before going to my room, I rush to the 2nd
floor and grab a plate. Actually I grab 2 plates – one I fill with papaya,
guava, and pineapple; the other with eggplant, tomatoes, yams, fish and beets.
Everything is so very yummy and healthy! I’m pleased with the buffet.
My room is clean and simple, overlooks the large pool and
the ocean is several feet beyond. The door to my room opens into the large bar
area where people are drinking and smoking. There is also an ashtray in my
room. I cannot attach the mosquito net anywhere and there are a few little ones
hanging around. I consider approaching the desk but there’s still a line of
people waiting to get into their rooms so I take a late night walk on the
beach. It is quite lovely, the tide is in, a sliver of the moon is showing in
the dark, sporadically clouded sky, and the water is mild, tiny waves lapping
the beach as if she were a lake and not the Atlantic. I can see no one else on
the beach even though it is not so late.
I return to my room and fall immediately to sleep.