Category Archives: Chinook Winds

Cuba in January was not the best idea for a vacation

Cuba in January was not the best idea we’ve had for a vacation, simply because the weather is not that great. As it is winter in Canada, it is also winter in Cuba, thus there was only one day that we were actually able to sit on the beach, go swimming in the ocean, and sailing. Most other days were spent around the pool out of the wind. Of course no one was swimming in the pool either, since it was freezing but we were out of the wind and occasionally the sun did appear. There was one day where it was warmer in Calgary, Alberta, Canada then it was in Varadero, Cuba because of the chinook winds! We found out that little tidbit of information when we were again spending time in the lobby bar due to the unsettled weather.

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My husband and I went to Cayo Coco, Cuba years ago and had a wonderful time at the resort we had chosen for that holiday. When I booked this trip, hubby wanted to stay in a 5 star resort, so I made sure I read review after review, as I searched for a nice place to stay. Well, the resort we stayed at, which was listed as a 5, maybe was a three (I found many other Canadians with the same opinion well we were chatting on departure day – our plane was delayed for hours). Sadly the food was horrid, either undercooked or overcooked. Now since hubby has been sick on other trips, I had him take some Dukoral (Travellers’ diarrhea) before we left. Now I didn’t take any Dukoral myself because I am usually fine, well as it so happened this time I got sick, thankfully it only lasted about 24 hours. Then hubby was sick for two days, so much for the Dukoral. Due to illness we had to cancel two of our dinner reservations. (If you have never stayed at an all-inclusive resort, there are usually 4 or 5 restaurants where you must have reservations for dinner).

I didn’t find the hotel to be all that clean, the floor in our bathroom was never properly washed under the sink or around the toilet. When you did see housekeeping cleaning, their rags were usually filthy. Washrooms never had paper towels to dry your hands, instead a roll of 1-ply toilet paper was stuffed in the dispenser. Try drying your hands with toilet paper – you end up with little bits and pieces stuck to them. From the outside all looks good, but as with many things on closer examination you see the truth.

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Now there were fabulous parts to our vacation, especially the day trip we took into Havana. I love history, so touring through old Havana was wonderful, except when it cost me $10 Cuban Convertible Pesos for hubby to receive two kisses from official tourism Cubans (our tour guide warned us of this, but apparently hubby wasn’t listening at that time).

Two official tourism people kissing hubby.

At one point we had the bejeebers scared out of us when all of a sudden we heard cannons going off. The cannons were being fired from Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña  in celebration of Jose Marti, father of Cuban independence. Here is a short video of the cannons going off:

More pictures of old Havana:

At the end of the day we had a half hour of free time which most of us spent having a drink in Hotel Ambos Mundos, one of the 1st residence’s of Ernest Hemingway.

one of the 1st residence's of Ernest Hemingway

With that, it was the end of our vacation, of course there was the 4 hour plane delay at the airport, eventually though we made it home after being awake for 24 hours! 🙂