Travelling just to Travel: Getting to Cuba

I forgot how long it really takes to get off the island I live on. On Friday I left work at 10:45, early thanks to my principal letting me go. I followed what had to be the slowest drivers that live in my area, all doing about 80km/h in a 100km/h area. I passed each one as I had a chance until I picked up Amber on the highway at Port McNeil. No time to even go into McNeil, no we were determined to reach Duke Point Ferry for the 3:15 sailing, rather than wait for the 5:45 sailing.

It’s like everyone else on the road was not really trying to get anywhere. People drove from ten over to twenty under. I passed then and continued on the drive. We ran into snow on the side of the road on top of the mountain but the roads were still clear.

We texted Grandma from Campbell to let her know we were an hour(ish) out. She was driving with us to the ferry and then driving my car back to the house where it will be parked for the duration of the trip. We swung in off the highway to get her and then back we were to driving. We made it too the ferry at 3:00, a little more than 4 hours after I left, not bad time on the roads at all.

The first thing we did on the ferry was go up to the cafe. We’d missed breakfast (travel stress, couldn’t eat) and lunch at this point. Food was standard and expensive, like it always is on the ferry. Then we decided to find some seats, use some data, and watch Netflix. We figured we have 10 days together, no need to say everything at the beginning, also I only had 2 episodes left of the anime I was watching; Magi: The Kingdom of Magic.

On the mainland Amber’s cousin picked us up and we headed to her place for the night. She and her partner have two kids, 2 and 6, who were super cute and happy to share their toy cars. They have a Bull Dog/Mastiff cross. A huge dog that is super gentle with the kids and also very defensive. He growls to warn you but never went farther than that. Once the kids went to bad he was friendly and wanted love and cuddles.

We all spent the night taking and drinking green beer to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Then it was off to bed so we could be up again to travel in the morning. Not really bed though. Amber and I shared a L-shaped couch. We each took one arm of the ‘L’ and our feet met in the middle. The couch was comfy, the feet fighting for room less so but we didn’t care once we were asleep.

In the morning we were up and headed to the airport at 7am. Amber’s cousin was kind enough to drive us, luckily not far. We checked in to our flights and dropped our bags. We headed through security and then we found breakfast. It ended up being a small cafe. I had an egg white and spinach omelette on a whole wheat croissant. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t made fresh to order either. Then we waited not to long at our gate before we boarded the plane and began the next step of our vacation, air travel.

The flight to Toronto was nice. Amber was seated behind me, not beside me. We both decided not to bother other people to switch seats and just made use of our seat back entertainment systems. I watched Dr. Strange and Moana. Both good movies. Then it was time to land.

We travelled through Pearson Airport from the domestic to the international terminal. We had to keep an eye on the clock because our layover was only an hour and twenty minutes. The airport was easy to navigate and there were people placed to guide you. We didn’t have to go through security a second time so we managed with lots of time.

So much time that we stopped for our second meal of the day near our gate. We had good Thai food from one a the restaurants. We took that food and sat at the airport bar. We ate and drank quickly before our flight was to board. We cut it a little close but we weren’t the only ones. We joined then end of the line that was present but by the number of people that boarded after us I am sure they were summoned by name in the terminal.

We did have a bit of an adventure figuring out seats in our little block of the plane. We were 19D and 19E, aisle and middle seats in the Emergency row (though there was no extra leg room for either row). There was a guy in my seat insisting it was his. The row 18 seats were missing the window seat and the lady sitting there was a standby passenger with a tiny little baby, she couldn’t sit in the exit row and would have to move. We offered to take her seats. Then as were trying to figure things out the person in 19F arrives. We weren’t expecting this because I had 19D, Amber had 19E, and the other guy I assumed was is 19F, but not so. I don’t know where he was supposed to sit. We shuffle to let 19F into his seat and the lady with the baby moved to 19E and guy in my seat stayed there. No one came to claim either seat in row 18 so we took those two. The lady with the baby, who had begun to scream, had to move from the seat in row 19 because it was still and exit row and she was unable to assist with a baby. The man sitting next to her husband and daughter was nice enough to change seats with her. They baby went farther away and seats were settled into for take off

This flight did not have seat back entertainment, sadly. They did let us know that we should download their app before takeoff to watch movies in flight. Amber and I did that. My app was successful hers was not for an unknown reason. They had a terrible selection of movies, like they were the last airline that choose movies for their app and they ended up with what no one else wanted. We ended up watching Frozen, doing some crosswords and watching some Big Bang Theory. Then it was time to fill in our customs cards and make the final decent into Cuba.

The airport in Cayo Coco is small but handled us efficiently. We arrived at just after 10pm and went in to customs. When Amber and I compared notes I’d been asked a few more questions about what I did for work, probably because it took a bit of flipping through my passport before he found a clear place to stamp my passport. Then we waited for our checked bag, which took seemingly forever. After it was off to find the person with an Air Canada sign to direct us to the bus that would transfer us to the resort.

The bus sold beer, not my drink of choice but there were some rowdies that bought it all for the ride. There were a few other hotels to drop off in the area, then it was off to Tyrp Cayo Coco, our destination for the week. It was just after 11pm on the clock at check in, it kind of felt that late, later, and earlier all at once.

There were about a dozen of us that got off the bus for this hotel. I went to the front desk to begin check in and Amber waited for the bags. Check-in what chaotic but painless. We were given a map of the property and a quick overview then we went on an adventure to find our room, we could have waited for the Bell Hop but he was guiding other guests at the time.

We found building 4 and up we went to the third, top, floor. No elevator on the property, so even though I forgot my runners to use the gym, I’ll still get a work out going up and down the stairs all day. The rooms are nice, we quickly turned off the A/C in our room and took the top blanket off the bed. There was a bottle of water left for us. We had large bottles of shampoo and shower gel. There is a fridge and a safe in the room. We stripped the sheets and checked for bugs and things but there was nothing (none of the reviews for this hotel mentioned bugs but reviews for nearby hotels did. Better safe than sorry). In our nice clean room we unpacked and then we went exploring in the dark. We walked to find the 24hr snack bar and have a burger (the other option was ham and cheese sandwiches). We had only had two meals that day and were very hungry. The burger wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good, but it was needed. Also, the bread it was on we great. We also got a drink. I got a Vodka and Sprite, not to my taste at all, tasted too much like cheap Vodka. Have to take some time to find a drink I like.

We sat down to eat and were approached by a lady who had been on the bus to the resort with us, so she had also been on our flight with us, in business class I learned later. She asked where we were from and told us a bit about herself. She seemed slightly crazy, randomly talking to people, but nice. Also talking to strangers and making friends is what Canadians do when travelling abroad. Then she left to find her husband.

Fed and with a drink in hand we headed down to the waters edge. There were a few bright lights along the path and then everything faded into darkness. I dipped my toes in but it was cold. We headed back onto the resorts grounds to have a look around. Amber stopped to pet a cat and made a friend that followed us as we walked the paths. Some were well lit and some were dark and scary. We found a path that lead down under the lobby. We thought we could connect to the bar or the disco but while we could hear the music there were winding paths and some offices and storage but no through path. If someone was going to jump out and kill us it would have been down there. We now know what path not to take.

We made our way back to the lobby and from there down to the disco. The music was good but the place was empty so we just made our way back to our room.

We lay around and read until we went to sleep somewhere around 2am.

via Daily Prompt: Fortune