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What is your "Oh I love Cuba" moment(s)?


#1

Many of us who have posted a lot have a moment …or several that keeps us going back to Cuba. There is that something that is infectious, addictive or just answers a kinda’ need that draws us back time and time again.

What is yours?

For us

  • It is close ( runway to runway 3.5 hours )
  • There was one tour operator 13 years ago that inspired me…she said, “her mom said that there is always something to frown about, so instead find something to smile at”. This I find time and time again is part of many Cuban’s outlook. …side note…I have noticed this eroding a bit in the past 3 - 5 years…but is still there. I enjoy being around people who have this outlook/philosophy in life

#2

I loved Cuba from my first moment on the beach…miles and miles of uninhabited white sand at Cayo Santa Maria, back when Sol was the only hotel situated there. The beach walking was awesome, and I had such a great time sailing. This was before my snorkelling days, but the beach is what draws me back time after time.

Since then I have visited many parts of Cuba, and they all have their charm. Unfortunately the wonderful wildness of Cayo Santa Maria is now history, although I still enjoy Sol. And I have a special fondness for my many sailor friends at all the resorts I have visited. Especially the ones that happily hand me the tiller. :wink:


#3

Mine is when I am in a town or city, and just sit down and watch life happen. Or when a herd of sheep decide to run across a hotel lawn. Or eating a fresh mango just off the tree. I am also a sucker for a good sunset!


#4

I love Cayo Largo because after we get out of the airport, I bet a taxi driver 10 bucks that he cannot get me to the Sol Club in less than 5 minutes. I love losing that bet !!!
As soon as we get to the resort I feel that I am " home ".
20 HOLAS later and we are on that beach.
At meal times we meet up with Michel, Anga (sp?), and Jorge and get our usual items that they always remember to bring us.

Life is good.


#5

It was back in 1999 that we took our first trip to Cuba. Before that we had been to the DR…it was very nice but…we never felt that ‘aha’ moment that we later found in Cuba…
I think it is the ‘pace’ and ‘attitude’ of the local Cubans…we can learn alot if we can only ‘slow down’ for a bit.
Plus it’s only a 4 hour flight and the price is excellent.
We love their beaches and touring the countryside.
But mainly…it’s the people… ;D


#6

Totally agree with you, tanlines. It’s the PEOPLE.
Yes, Cuban beaches are the closest thing to paradise, but there is just something about the Cuban people. Their integrity, their “débrouillardise” (resourcefullness) --just look at any Cuban car or tractor! --, their curiosity, all these qualities just bowled me over from day one.

One such memorable moment, first trip: We were on a catamaran at the Iberostar Playa Alameda and the young skip was a friendly chap, answering our many questions about his job, his family, his interests, and even Fidel and the economic situation of his country. At one point, I laughed and said “Enough with this barrage of questions!” and asked the young man if HE had any questions for us, to which he eagerly replied "Oh yes!! Please tell me this: How do you say “I would have gone”… in FRENCH?

Well, we had a good laugh at that one! Turns out the gent was studying to learn French… and Italian. I was thoroughly impressed with his many specific grammar-related questions (I later gave him a pocket French/English dictionary which made him jump up and down for joy lol) One happy camper meets another ;D).

Just ONE of my memorable ILOVECUBA moments :slight_smile:


#7

One very rainy day while visiting Santiago de Cuba, I popped into a small cafe with some other drenched tourists, rather than go shopping (I hate shopping!). We arrived just in time for a great jam session with 5 or 6 musicians. We spent a couple of wonderful hours listening to the music, dancing and chatting with the locals (and buying them beer). Awesome!


#8

I have only been to Cuba once for my Silver wedding anniversary and yes it was the people for me too from the Taxi Driver in an Oldsmobile driving us to Havana from Varadero when his car overheated and he got a bottle of water from the boot lifted the bonnet where smoke drifted out thinking he was using the water for the car calmly said as he was waving the smoke away ah no worries and drank the water himself ! Or to the charming young lad in Havana asking if he could chat to us to practise his English.A friend we made on the resort who I loaned him my i pod as we had the same taste in music thought he had won the lottery and at the end of the holiday refused to take any money as he considered us his friend.So I gave him stuff for his sister and mum.And the way I relaxed on my first day there. It’s our 30th anniversary this year and I so wish we could afford to go.But I know I will return.

Coppachik xxx


#9

I’ve been to Jibacoa six times now, and enjoy going for 12 to 20 km walks in the morning after breakfast.

When I near the end of my walk, I stop across from the police station and sit on a rock under the trees and take a break. I buy a few Bucaneros from across the street and procede to drink them and have a few Romeo y Julieta cigarettes.

I enjoy watching the cuban vacationers milling about. Cows and goats walk down the middle of the street and dogs run around ignoring it all as if they have their own agenda.

I guess when the beer buzz starts to hit along with my weary legs, I feel the most relaxed a person can get.

Once I had a herd of goats come by and sit under the tree with me. Just one of the gang.


#10

[quote=@sssnakesalive]I’ve been to Jibacoa six times now, and enjoy going for 12 to 20 km walks in the morning after breakfast.

When I near the end of my walk, I stop across from the police station and sit on a rock under the trees and take a break. I buy a few Bucaneros from across the street and procede to drink them and have a few Romeo y Julieta cigarettes.

I enjoy watching the cuban vacationers milling about. Cows and goats walk down the middle of the street and dogs run around ignoring it all as if they have their own agenda.

I guess when the beer buzz starts to hit along with my weary legs, I feel the most relaxed a person can get.

Once I had a herd of goats come by and sit under the tree with me. Just one of the gang.[/quote]

you told that so eloquently I could close my eyes and see it
Thanks


#11

It’s definitely the openess and friendliness of the people. As well, I love being able to walk off the resort and wander around taking photos and feel as safe and comfortable as I do at home. A lot has changed since my first trip in 1980 but it still is my favorite winter getaway location.


#12

Others have mentioned the beaches, nearby airport, food, drinks are usually on the list, short flights and directs, snorkelling and diving, photography, ecology, scenery and other wonderful assets. Ours are all of the above and the common element for all, the people. We love the Cuban “attitude”. Like How’re you doing? “Surviving!, thanks” and the whole culture of finding the best and celebrating it rather than complaining about little things.
At home we may whine about the difference between wait times on a service call. What? 3 minutes? A whole 5 minutes to speak to a real person? When in Cuba we switch to “Cuban Time” and don’t give a hoot if something gets done now (tomorrow) or never (can’t do).
We find that the Cuban rules about expectations wipe out any anxieties about having to have something done "Now"
Did I mention sunrises and sunsets?


#13

We’ve been returning to Cuba, off and on for over 30 years. Our first trip there was an adventure and it was quite undeveloped but we loved it. Varadero and it’s beautiful beach with very few tourists. Heaven. We returned once each decade because Cuba always drew us back but it was to Cayo Largo, not Varadero. You know it had to be a love affair because it was such a challenge to get there and back :P. Then we found Breezes Jibacoa and started a new love affair with Cuba. There is that je ne sais quoi feel about Cuba that we love and haven’t found elsewhere.


#14

Love this thread. Makes me so excited to visit BJ in September (22). We fell in love with Mexico last March but have to see Cuba to be sure there isnt more Heaven to be found here. :slight_smile:


#15

yes, there is ;D