Reading Week in Cuba

Have you ever met someone and though to yourself: “Yup, we are going to be best friends?” If you have, it’s a pretty amazing connection and it happens so effortlessly that you don’t realize you crossed the line from strangers to friends.

I was lucky enough to have this connection with two of my friends from college, which lead to a reading week trip to Varadero, Cuba after having known each other for only a year.

After months of figuring out where we wanted to go and how much we wanted to spend, we settled for a 3 star hotel called Hotel Kawama. It wasn’t a fantastic resort but it was perfect for a week of relaxation and partying.The resort had its own disco which was one of the main reason we chose this place – the disco was rarely busy but they played great music. The creative nightly live entertainment of dancers, magicians and singers started the nightly party. Best of all there were a lot of people our age at the resort. The vibe was amazing for reading week vacation.

Varadero, Cuba

I felt very safe in and out of the resort. It was simple to take the local bus into town and the locals were vary helpful. We were only a few minutes by bus from the resort which drove past a few ‘flea market’ style areas where locals have stands set up selling jewellery, paintings, souvenirs, etc. No one was aggressive in trying to sell you something.

We went to two clubs off of the resort: International and The Cave. The people from a different resort we met at the first club ended up at the second club three nights later that we were partying at. It turned out the animation team from each resort in the area advertise specific clubs for each night. This guarantees a large crowd and more tourists at those clubs. It was a great atmosphere with great music. Downside: have to pay for drinks.

The highlight of the trip however was not the partying. At the beginning of the trip one of the girls was not feeling too well. She didn’t have energy to be out in the sun all day and she unfortunately spent a few days in. Once we were able to see the doctor at the hotel (very convenient, except she wasn’t there everyday), things started to get better.

But let me back up a little. As we were getting ready to head out that day and see the doctor the other girl woke up with puffy eyes. She was convinced she had gotten her eye lids burnt, so she put some sunscreen on them. We walk into the doctors office and first thing she says to my friend “you’re allergic to your sunscreen.”

The attention then turned to my sick friend. Since I speak Spanish I started to translate to make the situation easier (the doctor spoke English fairly well). My friend is allergic to penicillin so the doctor had to create some medicine mixture into a needle. I translated to my friend that they were going to inject her in the butt. She looks at me panicked and says “when?” I say “now, pull your bottom down a little.” She does so and ask me if they are going to do a countdown so she knows, and as she says this, in goes the needle into her butt cheek. She had a bruise for days. Everyone in the resort knew her as the girl that got a needle in the butt.

It was not a situation you want to be in when you are on vacation, but it was hilarious.

It was a great “spring break” trip. If you ever get the opportunity to do it, don’t hesitate. It is the best way to spend your week off of school, otherwise you will be tempted to actually do school work.

This trip was so memorable, my girlfriends and I still talk about it to this day.

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