Varadero Beach Days: How to survive an island scooter
Varadero. During my tour of Cuba, the sun stabbed mercilessly from the sky. Good for blue sky vacation photos. But while we are being carted to the beach hotel, it starts to drizzle. Cuba in November. "If it rains in Cuba, then it's only for an hour, then the sun is shining again," promises a cheerful Cuban, for whom we are the first foreign customers, as a consolation we get a Pina Colada from the coconut shell on one Beach bar, the best pina colada of my life.
Actually, when we checked in the hotel, the sky is steel blue again and the sun is shining. I'm sitting on a dream beach, under a dream palm as if I were on one of these posters from a holiday catalog, which one always looks at winter days in Germany with envious glances. Everything was dripping with paradise and bliss. People wore this bliss on their faces. Some even decided to take their wedding dresses on this dream beach, so happy could you be here on this beach of Varadero. Everything could be good.
I plunge into the waves. But what is it? It's so shallow that my knees are constantly brushing the ground. I have never bathed in such a sea. A sea, you have to float in it and lose the ground under your feet. The sea here, this is for beginners. The next day it repeats itself, swimming once, twice, three times in the sea and then rushing to the buffet. I imagine where this would lead me and start to race up and down the beach like a madman, to peer into other hotel complexes and to convince me that I have met well, with the hotel selection, the Hotel Paradisus (tip see below) , My highlight of the day was the beach yield that I found: huge shells that washed up the churning sea. As a dog shows his found stick, I drag my 3 kilo shell with me. I enjoy envious glances from old gentlemen because of my shell, which I have therefore dragged along the whole long beach. If you have nothing to do, then shell grinding is an important holiday activity, I realize that I'm not the only one. Every walker proudly drags something with him. Man is just a hunter and collector. A bit feels the mussel loops, as if you had passed a jungle exam in the jungle camp. The shell lingered on the balcony until my departure, and I hoped that there was no vermin hiding there that would crawl out in the night and devour me. This did not happen.
By catamaran from Varadero to Cayo Blanco
On the second day I book a catamaran trip, because I think that will be a fun change. Far too overpriced, but I just had to do a right activity. And so I had a catamaran on which loud Caribbean good-humor music was played and a lot of rumbowle flowed on the offshore island of Cayo Blanco. Here, the beaches should be whiter than anywhere else. In fact they were, let's call it natural. I did not feel like Baden. The obligatory Dancing Lessons were held for happy-shining tourists, grilled lobsters and I could not stop moving away from my stool in the shadows and wondering what I was supposed to do here. The illusion of the perfectly staged Caribbean dream on the lonely island somehow did not work for me. At least I did not remember laughing on the way back because the drinking games were silly but funny. When well-heeled American rapper teens dance on the pole, it's just easy to throw themselves away.
On the fourth day, Cuba haunted the cold front, whose storm trigger in Havana brought more than 30 houses with it. So, when it rains in Cuba, it's only for an hour. The cold front lasted for three whole days. Three days with only one German television station, in which the same always ran, three days without Internet and connection to the outside world, three days, nothing but sleep, eat, read. Can you imagine something like that? Please put yourself in my position. My life is internet, my job is making money, the internet is online, my blog is on the internet, my friendships are for the most part possible only over the internet. My brain needs input, constantly. And I'm an active person who needs to move, in a radius larger than a hotel complex. How on earth can you endure three bad weather days without internet? Clearly: I had the island vacation scooter, but something of. Not even sports took place, the sauna was only allowed to be entered, if you allowed yourself a totally overpriced massage for 90 euros. I got a super-mega rage on the hotel, on the tourists and on Cuba, and poured myself on rum. But it did not help, I just had to survive it.
The sea was wild and rough. Waves bubbled meter high up the beach. Tornados twirled through the air. It was cold and stormy. The people hid in their huts and came out only for dinner. The people in the hotel were a little less happy. And you thought, "If there were such a tsunami, then we are all gone, all," the tourists said, and their paradise was a bit clouded with fear, and if, I thought silently, better in paradise perish as in hell. But do not worry, among the victims were no dead.
I explored the area. But what did she have to offer? An all inclusive resort after another, an outdated shopping mall that had nothing to buy and souvenir shops selling all the same junk. The Varadero peninsula is not accessible to locals, the only thing you can find here are empty restaurants (which tourist needs restaurants in the all inclusive paradise?) And hostels for hotel employees. Oh well, there is still a golf course and you could have seen the DuPont Villa, one of the first tourists in Varadero. But why? Was the villa special anyway? Nah, she was just the only attraction in a tourist stronghold. The Varadero peninsula resembled a ghost town.
At some point the bad weather phase stopped and somehow my mood improved. We had two more days left to see that the beaches in Varadero can look truly paradisiac if they want. The sea was suddenly smooth as if the steam iron had been at work here. I would have liked to drink a few more Pina Coladas, unpack my snorkel and maybe even let myself be persuaded to go for a Dancing Lesson, after all I was asked to do so every day. However, dear Cubans, let me tell you: Cuba, for me that is not the beach of Varadero, that is the embers, the decay and the passion in the dusty streets of Havana, these are the peasants in the green valleys of the Valle de Vinales and these are the pastel colors of Trinidad, that's Che and Revolution, that's rum, damn good rum and good. If I want to go to the beach again, I'm going to Malle, there is also nice.
My hotel tip in Varadero:
You can directly book the hotel here: Paradisus Varadero *
My tips for Varadero:
(locally the excursions are not cheaper)
More from Cuba you can find here:
Many thanks to the airline Condor for supporting my trip to Cuba.
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