Cuba Trip Update: Varadero Day 1
March 18, 2015

IMG_4794Today’s phrase of the day is “I can do it. Buffet dinner.” We arrived at our all-inclusive Sol Palmeras hotel in Varadero, a tourist driven destination in Cuba. It was my first time at an all-inclusive, and I was fascinated by all the food, amenities, and activities that were offered to all the guests. Before our group buffet dinner, Dominique, Janie, and I decided to bike riding during our free time. Riding all the water under the warm sun and cool breeze reminded me of my hometown in California, but cleaner. We had to bring our bikes back by 5pm so we had a good three hours. We leisured rode around the other Melia hotel and bungalows. Other than my attempt to do squats in my dorm, it had been a while since I had outdoor exercise so I pushed through some of the uphill slopes and knew my legs were going to hate me later. However, the ride felt amazing. When it was 3:45pm, Dominique and I felt a little more adventurous so we started venturing to the other side, the tip of the Varadero peninsula. The path was quite bumpy with rocks and hills, and I realized that my bicycling skills weren’t as advanced as quick as I had hoped. We passed a construction site for another hotel development and stumbled across a beautiful nature reserve. By the time we finished taking our pictures and talking with a few Cubans, it was 4:35, and we had only 25 minutes to travel back the 10km we had to ride to get to where we were from the hotel. Dominique is a great bicyclist, so I slowly trailed behind her making my ups and downs. At points when I thought my thighs were gong to give out, I told myself out loud, “I can do this. A few more hills and buffet dinner!” Many self-motivations later, we made it to our hotel with ten minutes to spare. Sometimes, life is like a bid ride. We get excited in the beginning and have the ups and downs and obstacles, but if we pedal up the hill, there will be a smooth cruise down. The hardest part is no knowing when we’re going to peak and often we give up at the hardest part, which is often the closest to the tipping point. Today, I felt accomplished and am excited to be rewarded with the buffet dinner. I’m excited for the rest of our stay in Varadero and enjoy the different perspective from our past few days in Havana.