Day 20: Floating in the Ocean Day!

Floating in the ocean, shopping for groceries, and we found water!

The cycling is all done, boxes are packed and ready to ship home on Monday. We took a 1959 Chevy station wagon taxi to Guardalavaca to spend two nights. We plan to do not much more than float in the ocean and show off our weird tan lines. Our Casa tonight is a cute little place on a secluded road facing the beach. 10 seconds to walk from door to water! We decided to have dinner at the Casa tonight and enjoyed a gigantic lobster, with some delicate rice and tomato salad.

The Guardalavaca beach is located directly in front of two all inclusive resorts (Club Amigo and Brisas), and it’s also the public beach that Cubans can enjoy. We have been to a number of all inclusives here in Cuba and the public beach at Guardalavaca is just a nice as any.

We aren’t sure we’ll ever quite understand the ins and outs of some of the service industry here. We saw a little food hut supposedly selling hamburgers and there was a group of people (I think Cubans) who appeared to be eating French fries! Oh yeaaaahh! No more rice & beans for us! So we order a hamburguesa con queso (cheeseburger) and point out fries in the picture, indicating we want them too. “No hay.” “Really?” “No hay” (we point to the table of people eating fries) “no hay”. Ok. It’s 1:30 in the afternoon and fries are no hay? We accept the the only thing we are getting is a hamburguesa.

Speaking of food (as I so often do), we found a pizza joint in Holguin. Dino’s pizza. Of course nobody was eating pizza when we went in, just drinking rum and beer. We noticed that the place closes at 5. Re-opens at 6. This seems odd to us….wouldn’t you want to have the pizza joint open during prime dinner hour? We’re not sure why they regularly close for an hour but we did notice they seemed to be counting and re-counting money. We’ve seen this often. Store clerks are very concerned with making sure every itty bitty peso is accounted for. Sometimes we’ve had to wait in a grocery lineup for 15 minutes while clerks count every coin in the till.

Shopping in stores is all business. You get in, you get your stuff, you get out. At the exit door sits a security person who looks at your bill and counts the items in your bag. Every item. 6 bottles of water…they count em. “One, two, three, four, five, six”. Glancing and assessing that it looks like six is not an option. There are not many choices or options of what to buy in grocery stores. There may be meat: 3 freezers full of individually frozen hamburger patties and 3 freezers full of chicken weiners. That’s it. There is a whole aisle full of sweetened condensed milk. And there is always an aisle full of tomato paste. You likely need to hunt all over town to find all the products you need.

We found lots of bottled water in Holguin!

We have baking aisles at home. In Cuba you may find a sweetened condensed milk aisle.

Curiously, the taxi from Holguin cost us the same (25CUC) to bring us 60km to Guardalavaca as it will cost us to go 9km from Holguin to the airport on Monday. Some things make more sense than others. But it’s Cuba. And we love Cuba, even if we don’t understand all of Cuba.

Tonight we walked down to covertly investigate the entertainment at the Brisas all inclusive…..pitch black road but we had a flashlight. Good thing we did! We narrowly missed stepping on a snake followed by a scorpion.


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  1. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us! You two deserve a few days on the beach! See you next week Randy!

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