Cuba. Wow. Where do I begin? Well, let's start at the beginning. It rained. A lot. And there were Canadians. Many of them. With BMI's way over the norm.
Such is your lot when you decide "let's book at an all-inclusive resort, how bad can it be?". The answer is: bad. Don't do it. No matter how much of a deal you think you're getting.
Luckily, we escaped. We rented a car for the first half of the week. Partly because we knew it was going to rain and what's the point of sitting on a beach in the rain. But mostly because we needed to get away from all those people. It was like living in the Mid-West, in the States, except with funny vowels and transported to a beach resort in the Caribbean.
So we managed to avoid the people, but not so much the rain. And did it ever rain. Boy. But we had fun all the same. We quickly realized that we would not be able to make it to our chosen destination (the town of Trinidad) in a day. Instead, we went to places closer by. We saw LOTS of country side. That meant lots of horse-drawn carriages. This still seems to be the main mode of transport in central Cuba.
We also saw lots of mountains (on the way to Havana), and the obligatory 50s-style cars, Fiat 500s and modern Chinese buses. All of it was exciting, but Havana was by far the best. It reminded me a lot of Mumbai, but with fewer people. Basically, the place is fabulously falling apart and chaotic, except for an area in the old town. Take it from me: if you go to Cuba, hang out in Havana (do yourself a favor).
The rest of the time we made do with enormously long beach walks - I'm suffering from sunburn on my calves that I forgot to protect - and trips to the mangroves where we got to jet ski at very high speeds, or trips to the classic Tropicana show "under the stars" during which I wore my winter jacket because it was so cold.
Overall, a very successful trip. Sure, we had little heat and sun, the reason we went. But we did see lots of new and interesting stuff. Of course, we had to put up with the endless request for tips by the locals and stupid questions like "Oh, you rented a car and drove around the country side? But how did you eat? Won't you get sick?". And I blinked so hard at a woman who kept complaining that her back was killing her (sun burn), mainly because I wasn't sure she was speaking to me since we hadn't met, that her companion said, "I don't think they understand you - they don't speak English". Hubby and I laughed over that one and then moved discretely to another table where we could "not speak English" to each other.
More pics can be found on my facebook profile, for those of you who are savvy enough.