You can stay! - We'll Follow the Sun - CycleBlaze

February 2, 2019

You can stay!

After a blissful sleep we went down and sat with Ernie at a table out in the open for breakfast.  $5 for eggs, fruit, bread, juice and coffee – so good!!!  As we sat and ate, Daniella came up to us with wonderful news.  The owner had found another spot for the person coming in today and we could keep our little room for the next two nights if we wanted!!!!  Wow!!!  That weight off our shoulders, we changed our plan for this day to cycling over to the Jibacoa beach, which begins about 5 km from where we are and goes on from there.  We excitedly packed some water, snacks, sunscreen and the camera and headed off.

Dunia on the left and our wonderful Danyela on right right
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In very short order, we came to the first beach, which is next to Villa Loma, a hotel run by Gran Caribe group.  We didn’t stop but headed right down the hill to find this absolutely fabulous beach!

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As we didn’t have our swim gear with us today, we just sat and admired the view for a while before heading back up.  As an afterthought, I stopped by the office and found that the rooms here are actually very reasonable - $30 CUC, so we may check this place out on our way back to Havana in another couple of weeks.  We continued down the road, finding gorgeous beach after gorgeous beach with what looks like lots of coral growing very near the shore, so tomorrow we will bring our snorkelling gear and give it a try.

We passed a string of Campismos, which are Cuban camp grounds, but not.  They have a bunch of little casitas where people can stay, a big pool and on weekends, really really loud music blaring.  Apparently these are a favourite spot for Cuban youth to come and spend a weekend.  For a young person I can see the appeal but for us, not so much!  

Campismos - great for young folks who like their music loud!
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We finally reached the end of this stretch at the other Gran Caribe hotel and stopped to see if there was a restaurant where we could have lunch.  Unfortunately for us, this is an all inclusive hotel and you can’t even get on the grounds without their special wristband.  However, the nice young man at the gate told us of a restaurant just 500 meters up the hill, so we turned around and headed up, finding el Cacique right where he said it would be.  A small place with a palapa roof, we weren’t sure what to expect, but went in.  The menu had several choices for full meals, all of them either $15 or $20 CUCs.  As we weren’t wanting to eat a huge meal, we decided to split one order of chicken and shrimp in garlic which came with salad, rice and fried bananas.  When the first part came out, we wondered how anyone would ever eat one of these for themselves, the servings were so huge!!!  A plate full of fresh fruit, a basket of really really delicious fried bananas (think potato chip bananas) and a veggie salad.  We would have been happy with just this!  Then came the rice and meat – so wonderful!  We both ate as much as we possibly could and our total bill, which included some extra water and a pop, came to $18 – what a deal!!!

No wristband? No entry for you!
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No problem! Wonderful lunch here!
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So full we could barely pedal, we rode back down the hill, waving happily at the guards who had send us up there before looking for a beach spot to stop and relax for a while.  One soon appeared and we laid the bikes down and plopped our selves onto the perfect sand to spend a couple of hours just watching the waves come in and the occasional snorkel go by.  We did see a local guy who was doing some serious fishing as he had on a wetsuit and was carrying a speargun when he came out of the water with what looked like a pretty good catch.  We will be back on this beach tomorrow and hope we can see some beautiful fish.  Unfortunately for you, we will not be bringing any cameras other than the GoPro so we won’t be able to share what we see with you.  

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Playing in the waves. This family were the only others on the whole beach!
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Other than this guy who came out with somebody's dinner
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After a long long time, we got up and dusted as much of the sand off ourselves as we could before making our way back to our little home. What a perfect, perfect day!  Dinner tonight will be at our little attached restaurant but will probably be a shared dish as we are both still full from lunch!  Ah, this is just the most wonderful place to come!!!!!

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