Resorts

Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
1
435
576
Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Cuba  , Matanzas,
Thursday, June 11, 2009

We were kind of stuck. We wanted to go see Vinales, but it was around 550 K's away. It is easy in most countries, but this is Cuba. We have a good book of maps, but the road signs are crappy and as we had problems getting out of Havana, and we would have had to go through Havana, we decided to give it the flick. We checked out our book and found that we could drive around 250ish K's to a place called Matanza, this would seem like an ok place to hang.

The Drive

Along the way, the map book worked. We drove all the way back to the freeway, but this time, instead of jumping on, we went straight over. On the otherside, the road was horrible. It was a minefield of potholes. We drove around them as best we could. It was kind of hard as most were filled with water so we couldn't see how deep they really were. We passed through a few towns, it was very weird. It felt like we were in a different era, people had their washing out by the street !!! Not long after, we stopped to fill up, and it was just like a scene from Back to the Future. Guys came running to fill, check the air and water and all the cars were out of the 50's. 

After they had completed their work, we moved onwards. The first big town was a place called Colon. Not named after your asshole but in Cuba, that is the name for Christopher Columbus. Was he an asshole? I attempted to ask but did not get the desired answer !!! This town was even more 50's There were diners and art-deco type cinemas and the only modern car was ours. Fuck there were some nice ones. We shot as we drove as we didn't have time to stop and walk. 

Matanzas

Eventually we arrived in town. We drove around getting a feel first of all, found our casa and first thoughts were that it was to far out of town. It was close to a beach, but I was in no rush to hang out on one. We did go in, but the owner said that he was full, but had booked us in the centre of town. Bonus !!! We followed him in, grabbed the room, stuck the car in the garage and walked around. There was a main square with the usual Jose Marti statue, but this time in bronze. The main church was closed, but there were some other nice buildings. We walked over to the Versalles area. Knowing it would not be like its namesake in Paris, we walked around checking out the locals. There was a big old church there, but the sun was in the wrong spot so we took no photos !!! The gates were also locked, but there were people inside. After about five minutes, the doors shut, and a local said, "follow me, I will get you inside" He knocked on a door, and we entered through the priests backdoor !!! The people praying had been priesty types, so we had the whole church to ourselves, and like all the churches we have seen in this country, it was very plain.

Back at the casa, we noticed that they made mojitos, and as the bars in town, well they were non-existent, we asked the owners to mix some up. Trust me, they are the best I've had over here, so everynight is Mojitos, until I hit the floor !!!

There is also another area, Montserrat. I can't compare it to the other Caribbean place, but there was a lookout at the top of the hill, some bunkers in case the Seppoes decide to invade and a church that was paid for by the Catalunyans in the late 1800's. It was being rebuilt, nothing inside, and there were four statues with plastic over the heads and named after towns in Catalunya. I have been to three of them, whilst the forth, does it even exist !!!

Varadero

Just outside of Matanzas, is the resort town of Varadero. As it is hot here, and the beaches around Matanzas are shit and polluted, we decided to see what all the fuss was about. There were huge ugly hotels, and beaches attached. We drove the 20 odd K's to the end, found a spot where there were no resorts, in fact it was the only part, and as an added bonus, we were the only tourists, we hit the water. And just like all the pictures I have seen, the water was so clear, blue, warm and excellent. Yes, I am not a beach person and I did not lie on the beach, but the water here is stunning. It was so nice, we visited it everyday we were in Matanza. But trust me, this is not a place for the Uncle and I was happy to leave and go back to my casa everyday !!!

And Finally

So tomorrow we leave, our Cuba experience is nearly over, just a couple of days left in Havana and then sadly, Londres, we will be back
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