Sun, surf and tourists
Trip Start Apr 25, 2006
76Trip End Apr 25, 2007
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For some reason in Varadero the government has banned any accommodation other that state owned, or half state owned hotels. This means I was forced to suffer through $40-a-night mediocrity in the cheapest hotel around. Hotel Herradura certainly didn't match up to the photos I'd seen, which were obviously taken some time in the 1960's just after it was built
Walking the streets was pretty depressing. Hardly any Cubans to be seen, and no hot chicks. Plenty of old couples and families though! I took refuge at a foot joint on the side of the street and tucked into a 95 cent burger, which roughly translated to a bun with a slab of meat in it, lathered in mustard and tomato sauce. Told him to go easy on the sauce for my second one, and then started tucking into 50 cent shots of Havana Club Rum (aged 7 years of course). Realising that I was trapped in this aptly named tourist trap, I decided to hit the beach and relax for a few days.
Good plan. Bad execution of plan. I ended up getting no further than the hotel bar, which stupidly were offering (almost) free rum concoctions that had already lured in a couple of Germans and a Spaniard. The Spaniard ended up being the best value of the lot, even though we could barely communicate past miming/pointing/laughing...
The next day I somehow dodged a hangover, which has been the same story with Cuban rum all along - I don't know how they do it, but I'm glad they do. The Germans had managed to flee on a 7am bus, and there was no sign of the Spaniard so I just walked the 25 miles of beach for the day and took a few snapshots of an overall uninspiring coastline. Few more drinks at night, smoked a Cuban cigar as the sun set over the flashes of a tropical storm, had a refreshing dip in the sea and that was that. My tip? Do not go there!