25.07 – 27.07
It was time for an awesome beach. We took a colectivo to Remedios (nearest and cheapest place to Cayo Santa Maria). 20 CUC was the price. During the ride we were creating our plan. Topics were how we get to Santa Maria the next day and calculated the expenses of accommodation and taxi fare. Created plans are there for changing them. So did we. We spent 5 CUC per person more and travelled directly to Cayo Santa Maria. We had many challenges to complete. Some were: getting money, where do we sleep, water, drinks and how we get back to Remedios or Santa Clara (Alex had a ticket for the day after tomorrow leaving Santa Clara to Habana at 15:00).
We completed the different challenges slowly one by one, in the end too slowly. It was already 18:00 and we still had no solution for our situation found. We were stranded…
While checking this part of the blog for grammar mistakes, something else sprang in to my mind. Once when we were discussing our plan and enjoying some drinks our bag packs were unattended stored near the reception. Later on we had to speak with the security guys for getting them back because they took them and stored them safe. I know really naive from us but it is Cuba really safe and “all” people are honest here. 😀
There were three possible variants:
Order cheapest to most expensive
- Sleep at the beach, dinner and breakfast none
- Taxi to Remedios (60 CUC) plus 20 CUC casa perticulares
- One night at Cayo Sol Santa Maria (150 CUC)
First we tried to bargaining at the front desks. The people were always shocked or surprised when we asked for a room due to the lack of reservation. One thing which I still do not understand until today was that some hotels were fully booked but there were nearly no people… I do not get it….
Prices were high ~180 CUC or the hotel was fully booked. Also the calls to nearby hotels were a rip off…. In the end one lovely reception woman told us that we should book over the internet. Bingo all hotels had available rooms even the fully booked ones….. Emergency credit card (150 CUC) was ready and some minutes later we enjoyed the faces of the reception personnel when we showed up with a valid reservation due to the dismissive behaviour before. Strange things in Cuba.
We enjoyed all inclusive services and later the awesome beach in combination with a cigar and music created the final. Due to our fascination with the beach and the sea, we missed the breakfast next morning. We had to improvise and found a place where they prepared some sandwiches. We checked out and had another swim in the sea. Clear sky with clear water. No comment.
One thing was special: when we asked for a room, one receptionist told us that the hotel was fully booked and he added there were free rooms available but not for guests. The reason was that some things were not working correctly. Like AC was broken or malfunctioned locks etc.
Maybe booking over the internet made it possible to unlock this limitation. In the end we got a room with a broken balcony door lock. Anybody could have entered our room in the night/day. In the end, I was happy about it I used the unofficial entrance once because my door card was not working properly.
The clock showed 16:00. We started to get worried about our transportation. So we discussed our further approach. A taxi was too expensive. The normal tourist buses were not bookable due to closed office. There were no colectivos…. Bargaining with bus chauffeurs was hard and “senseless” due to the risk of losing their jobs. But there is still one question in my head: Did we bargain to hard (ratio to their risk) or were the people just too honest. Nobody knows.
We were stranded again. The impossible got real.
We found a shelter next to the beach. The night was far away from comfortable. Noises from trucks, cars and shuttles kept us awake. Also the bag pack was kinda unattended.
Exhausted and tired we tried to book a seat in the bus. Yes you have read carefully, baaaaam surprise surprise. Tickets are bookable just one day prior to departure and it is not possible at the same day….
For Alex the time was running out. It was 9:30 and the bus was leaving from Santa Clara in about 5 h and 30 minutes. Money or time…
It was so painfully when we gave the taxi driver 80 CUC for the ride… still hurting…
I was happy about exiting the tourist zone. I did not feel really comfortable and in addition the food and the drinks challenged my stomach way too much. It lasted many days.
– Enjoy the beach 🙂
– Enjoy the beach and the start during night with a boom box some glasses of rum and a cigar!