Saturday, 18 January 2014

Still Day 1 in Varadero (Adventure time)

At 11:45 I exchange $500 CDN for 425 CUC (Cuban convertible Pesos). A measly exhchange rate, but Cuba wants to live too and the Canadian $ dropped against the US one recently.  

Just for fun, I drop by the scooter rental place at 11:50 and ask the senor who I recognize from 2 years ago just 4 words: “hay o no hay?”.  He answers ‘hay’, which leaves me utterly confused because it was always ‘no hay’ for DAYS the last time I was here.  After I tell him that I have to go to my orientation meeting he says ’10 minutos’ (he knows it won’t be long for another prospective customer to show up) and after I say it would take longer to get my driver’s license from my hotel room, he rents me the scooter with just my passport but without my driver’s license and makes me promise to show him my driver's license later.   TRY THAT in Canada ;-)

After enough wine with lunch I spy this from my hotel room: 

A book I’m reading right now call it the ‘imp of the perverse’ and as described in the book it seems to sit on my shoulder at various times: Let’s go  ;-)

When I get to the 1/3 mark, I realize that the black areas actually consist of concrete covered by SLIPPERY  seaweed.  I also realize that the waves washing over the thing exert a measurable lateral force on my feet, or - in less scientific language - the waves could push my feet off the ground.  I cautiously place my feet on areas where pieces of the concrete (including their seaweed cover have splintered off.

Given the 3 hours of sleep and the 3 alcoholic drinks I had within the last 2 hours, I actually don’t go all the way to the front.  There still are 6 days left to do that!  I cautiously head back to the beach.

When I'm almost at the beach, 2 not quite sober guys come onto the pier. I tell them to have a coffee before they venture out there, a warning that goes unheeded.

the top balcony on right is my perch
I head back to my room for a bit.  

 2 hours later I meet one of the guys in the elevator. His white T-shirt is smeared with some red substance.  Apparently they went onto the pier, where one of them was swept into the canal, spent an hour in the water trying to swim against the current, while the other guy managed to fetch the life guards, which then rescued the 2nd guy and sent him to hospital.  Turns out he was swept into the ocean by a wave at the very front, where I chose not to go today.   WOW!!!

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