Friday, February 13, 2009

I'm Going, Going, Back Back, to Cuba Cuba...


(Ripped off from Bigge's Back to Cali song). It's official, I'm going back to Cuba! I received my itinerary yesterday and after some problems with my travel agent (itravel2000) I finally got things sorted out. My roommate and I are heading to Club Amigo Mayanabo for one week.

The resort is in Playa Santa Lucia Cuba. Santa Lucia Beach is on the northern coast of Camaguey Province, in the east-central part of Cuba, around 338 miles (545 km) from Havana. It has some of the most beautiful beaches of Cuba.

Santa Lucia has 13 miles (21 km) of wide, white-golden sandy beaches bathed by warm turquoise water that is always calm, thanks to an extensive coral reef. This reef is the longest one of its kind in the western hemisphere. In one area which has 35 scuba-diving sites, you can see ridges nearly 33 feet (10 m) high, and the wealth of underwater flora and fauna is complemented with many sunken ships-some of them dating from the 19th century.

It is my third time visiting Cuba, and my second time to Santa Lucia. I first went to Santa Lucia in February of 2007 with my roommate. We stayed at the Brisas Santa Lucia resort and had an amazing, unforgettable time. That first trip was where I learnt about the festival Carnival. It's an outdoor music festival they hold every February that includes 24 hours of non stop music, dance, and partying. Cubans from all over come in on buses, livestock trailers, and in their old unmarked classic cars. We spent every night there. We learnt how to dance the Rumba, and made amazing local friends who showed us a side of the island we would never have seen staying solely on the resort.

I instantly fell in love with Cuba, and it is number one on my list of favorite places to travel. The muggy air, the sea breeze, the untouched un-commercialized lifestyle that is so different from the one I live every day. The Cubans take great pride in their work, their home, their families. I admire them greatly. They are the friendliest, most honest people I have ever met.

There are horses everywhere. They keep them tied up with rope or not even tied at all. They are a means of transportation for them, and despite what people think they are generally very well cared for. One morning I was walking back to th
e resort after a night of exploring the island, I came across the mare and foal pictured. They were tied in an open field, and the foal was tied to the mother. Obviously, I went straight over to them. They came right up to me, and let me hug them and play with their manes. These horses were absolute sweethearts. No fear, not a care in the world. The mare was obviously a cart horse at one point, you could tell from the marks on her nose from her bridle and gear. They both were in great health, and happy in spirit. I was loving Cuba more every minute.

This time I am going prepared, with lots of goodies to give away. I want to find a local school to drop of some school supplies for the kids. I read about someone doing this on http://www.tripadvisor.com/ and I guess the teacher and the kids went nuts. They were really appreciated and brought a lot of smiles to those students that day.

I also grabbed some nice leather halters I had and am going to give them away. They don't have access to new tack, and I'm sure they can fi
nd use for them. They were hanging in my tack room collecting dust anyhow. I will definitely get some pictures of the horses wearing them!

It's only a few days away, I'm so excited but there are still a few days to get through before I get to bask in the beauty that is Cuba.

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