A Travellerspoint blog

Cuba 2022

Trip #2

Trip #2 to Cuba. This time I was prepared since I had been there just a year before. I had to have proof of COVID vaccines as well as a negative test. I provided both and was allowed entry.

After arrival in Cuba with 2 fully loaded suitcases full of necessities for my friends, again, customs and border control didn't check anything, not that I had anything illegal anyway. I was loaded down with food, medicine, clothing for my dear friends. I didn't have to worry about transportation since my friend's friend had a 54 Buick with a diesel boat motor in it ready to take us wherever. That car, which I named "The Beast" chugged along taking us from one place to the next. She put-putted along like she was in the water. If you have ever been to Cuba, you will admire the will of this engine to keep on going.


The first night was at this Airbnb, simply called "2 independent rooms in the heart of Vedado". It was exactly what I needed after coming from snow to tropical weather. It had a mini kitchenette between the rooms. It was enough to make coffee in the morning which is exactly what I needed. I'm not sure why I didn't take any pictures. It *did* have a great location for car watching, and I made this TikTok video:

The next day, The Beast showed up and took us to Guanabo. This is where the locals go and there really are not any tourist hotels here. The Airbnb I picked out was fabulous, called "Mabel Cosy Beach House". It's a beautiful house and property directly on the beach. They have allocations from the government to renovate it, so some things were not available, like the pool. But that is ok, because the location is directly on the beach and is exactly what I needed. The guys had their own room, and I had mine. We shared a bathroom. It had a kitchenette that we made full use of.


I met a lot of really cool people on the beach in front of our Airbnb. I even got brave and had a half naked massage on the beach. The lifeguard station was right in front of the Airbnb and made friends with him. Everyone tries to speak whatever English they know, which made me feel like shit because I don't know any Spanish, but just like meeting people all over the world, we made communication work and we were all smiles.


So when I got my half naked massage on the beach, I never thought about sunscreen. I had some on before he started, but I never paid attention to the fact that he was using baby oil on me. And that still didn't trigger anything in my brain later. Unfortunately, I never reapplied sunscreen after the massage, still not thinking about it, and I got burned to hell. And in Cuba, you can't just run to the corner Walgreens to pick up stuff to cool the sunburn down. There are no stores to go to for relief. The Airbnb host gave me sour yogurt to put on, which I readily did. I smelled so bad, but it did provide temporary relief.


The last Airbnb we stayed at was in Havana, called "Villa MIREY, Sauna&Jacuzzi, Vedado, Habana". I'm not sure what to say about this location. I book Airbnb's mostly based on hot tubs. This one promised a hot tub on the roof and in every room in the house. The house was HUGE and had 3 floors. The architecture was amazing. And the pictures in the Airbnb were accurate. I messaged the host before arrival because I wanted to make sure the hot tub on the roof was ready to go upon our arrival, he assured me it was.

But it wasn't. Not only was the roof top hot tub not available at all, the hot tub in my room took almost an hour to fill, and the mold around the hot tub was so gross that I really didn't want to spend any time in the thing. The guys with me had their own hot tub that they seemed to love, so that was ok. Now I know this is Cuba. Cubans can't find basic food much less mold killing cleaning supplies. I didn't complain because I understand the situation there. But I was disappointed.


All in all, it was a wonderful trip. I got to see my friends again, bring them much needed supplies, and escape the Tennessee snow and cold for tropical weather. My sunburn was so bad that my entire body blew up in one big blister, and I spent my last day on the plane desperately trying to avoid stares and I peeled off my skin and water came dripping down. I was so hot, so itchy, so gross. I apologize to the poor people sitting on the plane next to me. Really, I'm not that gross.


Posted by Lumpy4Square 00:07 Archived in Cuba

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