Cuba, April 2008 (Varadero, Part VI)
What a difference a day makes! One day basking in the Caribbean waters soaking up rays, the next...
'Now what'?! I stood there staring at the medical centre's "CLOSED ON SUNDAYS" sign thinking that by doing so it'd open. I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to fly the 4 hours to get home without first visiting a doctor. I even feared that I might not live through the overnight to get on the plane. What a terrifying feeling.
There are many hospitals in Cuba, they cost pricey taxi drives to get there though (even with medical insurance). If you call an ambulance all expenses must be paid for out of pocket first and then reimbursed when you return home. I declined. Instead I went to find additional over the counter remedies until I could land back on Canadian soil.
This adventure led us to the mall a short distance away, what a bold, brave action on my part. I didn't really shop, I got what I needed and then benched myself while Quinnifer picked up some trinkets to bring back to family and friends. Pleased, I hadn't lost my sense of humour through this ordeal and keeping with the start a travelling tradition, I did happen to find my Dad a small "Cuba" picture frame. I'd now be gifting him a photo a me and my "future husband" from here. Hahah what fun.
The latter part of Sunday was spent saying good-bye to all the wonderful people we had met. The security guard down at the beach (who had tirelessly tired to teach me Spanish), Heidy, Isabella, Miguel, the front lobby attendant, Leanne & Mack and of course, Duardo. I hadn’t seen him since the room visit on Friday and now here he was.
By the time 11 p.m. had rolled around that night, I would have definitely been in some type of parasite coma. Although I did recall Quinn telling me in my darkest hours on Saturday, that he had actually been there and knocked on the door. She was in bed also and decided not to get up to answer it.
Before leaving, apparently he slid a note under the door for me. Now standing here face to face, we’d finally get a chance to talk about this. :) He had no trouble believing I was ill when I ordered a fruit juice instead of an alcoholic beverage.
It wasn’t at all like any of my other ‘last night’s on vacation”, dedicated for the all night party. Not even close. Instead, Quinnifer and I sat on the terrace of the lobby bar, while Duardo told us of Cuba’s history. Learned of his family, their way of life and how things were changing. By night’s end he and I were very much of the same understanding, while I did appreciate the flowers and the notes, I was only interested in making new friends, nothing more.
As the sun made its way to a position in the sky that’d start to heat up the beaches of Varadero, we were up doing our last minute packing and preparing for departure. This routine was like a well-oiled machine for us really, so it’s no wonder when the phone rang we were both a little startled. Awe, it was Duardo, just getting off his night shift, calling to wish us a safe flight home.
I did make it to breakfast this morning, first time in a few days. I thought maybe I needed to try a cracker / bread mix for the gallons of H2O plus the “as many as I can medically take, plus one more” tablets for stomach issues that I had consumed. Whatever it took.
It was imperative that I get on that plane and make it home…without incident! I felt pretty confident as we arrived in the lobby to wait for our transfer to the airport. As the minutes continued to pass and quickly turned into an hour without the appearance of this bus, I began to question my ability to proceed.
Although assurance came faithfully from the security guard at the lobby, when we questioned the whereabouts of our bus. He kept saying that we wouldn’t miss it, it hadn’t forgotten us…okay, so where was it? We just needed to relax, “you’re on Cuba time now” he says, … “the bus is late, and you wait, its no problem”. He was great (and rather cute). As ill as I was and as anxious as I might have been about our missing bus, I truly had a terrific time talking to him. ;)
Finally on the plane headed for home!! :) I had self medicated enough that I nearly slept the entire flight. Phew, made it! As crazy as my world had been pre-vacation, then preceded by the incidents of a parasite, my return home was matched with equal unbalanced life instances, which continued for approximately an additional six weeks. First things first, hospital please.
Until we meet again Varadero :) ... I look forward to that day!
Choosing where to go on holiday can be a bit tricky, especially when there are so many options within the same price range. The results from the Weekly Survey Question: when thinking of your dream vacation destination, what's most important? 70% of you say the location, 29% look for places that will treat you with utmost customer service and hospitality and there are still a few of you that book according to star rating (1%). I'd be surprised if any location within the destination of Cuba would disappoint any of you.
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