Sunday, September 09, 2012

sunkissed and swimming with dolphins

Sorry for the wait, I've been busy being a bum, playing Persona 3 and Persona 4 Arena instead of blogging. But I think I've been lazy long enough so here's my Cuba vacation post!

The name of our resort was called Playa Costa Verde and it was located in Holguin, which is also where the airport was. Our resort was about an hour away by bus and we arrived at around 8 PM. By the time we checked in and found our room, it was around 10 PM and we had a small supper at the Snack Bar near the pools.



The first day, we obviously spent a lot of time at the beach since we had just arrived. The beach is beautiful! The water is so clear and the sand extremely soft. It was like something out of a movie.

Crystal Clear Water.

Verde beach.

My Dad also made reservations for a catamaran ride and that was so much fun! We went pretty far out into the ocean and it was going so fast. Occasionally, we'd get splashed by the ocean but it was really refreshing since it was so hot and the water was really cool.

The catamaran.

Still in relatively shallow water on the catamaran.

Deep water on catamaran.

The only problem about the beach was it was a little rocky at the start of the beach and there's these little corals and I felt bad every time I had to step on the rocks since there were little fishies that lived there. But in some places, it was too shallow to swim over it (my sister tried and she scraped herself, ouch!) so we had no choice. We just took giant steps while the rocks stabbed our feet.

But since there were so many little reefs around, it was really easy to spot fish. I love snorkeling and I hope to one day go scuba diving! I spent so much time snorkeling around and feeding the fish with bananas. Fish love bananas.

Tiny fish that can be spotted right where the ocean meets the beach.

Some fish around the reefs.

Usually after lunch, my siblings and I would head to the pool to wind down. The pool area was separated into two sections, the deep end and the shallow end. But the deep end isn't that deep, it usually reached people's chest while the shallow end would reach people's stomachs. We spent all our time in the shallow end because there was a lot less people. The only downside was the pool bar was on the deep end but the shallow end is closer to the snack bar.

Snack bar near the pool.

Shallow side of the pool, looking towards the deep end.

I shared a room with my brother and my sister and it was a surprisingly comfy room. Both my sister and I called dibs for the larger beds while my brother had the smaller bed. We also thought that it was more normal that my sister and I slept next to each other. But my brother wasn't happy with the arrangement since he kept complaining that his bed was less comfortable than ours but we didn't give up ours beds. Haha, we're so mean. My parents had their own room right across the hall.

Access to the balcony and my brother's bed.

Me and my sister's beds.

I decided not to take a picture of the bathroom since it wasn't any special. But I did take some pictures of the view from our balcony and pretty much the resort.

Balcony view of the Italian restaurant and the buffet (red roof).

View of the main entrance to our rooms.

Towards the end of our trip, we went on an excursion to swim with dolphins. My parents had been talking about us swimming with dolphins for over a decade and we finally decided to do it. The first part of the excursion was we would get onto a giant catamaran, one that seated about 60 people and we'd head off somewhere to snorkle.

Our catamaran.

Name of the catamaran.

My family and I had stocked up on bananas during breakfast so that we could feed the fish. My brother didn't end up going because he's really prone to motion sickness and he was pretty much knocked out the whole ride. My mom isn't a strong swimmer so she said on the catamaran with my brother. I think she also wanted to keep an eye on him. So my sister, dad and I went to snorkel near some huge reefs nearby.

It was awesome! I've never seen so much different types of fish in one place and I was so close to them! They even came closer when I started feeding them bananas, it was so cool! I loved every second of it and I wished that we could've stayed there longer. We only had 45 mins to swim around.

Different types of fishies that wanted bananas.

My sister and I feeding the fish.

We didn't take that many pictures because we were more concentrated on feeding the fish and trying to so see as many fish as possible. Also, the waves were really strong that day so it was hard to take a good picture as you were bobbing around the ocean.

Dolphin Aquarium.

Pretty blue fish.

After, we went to the aquarium where the they had the dolphins. You were separated into groups of 20 and for each group of 10 was 1 dolphin. I was really excited because it's not every day you get to swim with a dolphin and they're supposed to be really good with people.

Name of the Aquarium.

Sneaking peeks at me while the group was getting ready.

My sister and I floating around in the dolphin pen.

I was really surprised when I touched the dolphins that they weren't soft at all. They were kind of boney and rubbery. I expected them to be soft and smooth like stingrays. They also look a little creepy when their teeth are exposed but I still loved it anyway!

Kissy time!

Rubbing her belly.

Family picture with the two dolphins.

After that, we waited around for lunch to be served. There was a little terrasse where my mom, sister and I sat and there was a little fountain next to us. Inside, were different sizes of little black fish. Some of them were so tiny, they looked like sperm! They were wiggling their tails around like sperm do and clusters of them would be nibbling on what looked like pieces of bread. It looked much more interesting in real life (since there were so many clusters of them) but I took some pictures anyway.

Some of the larger ones.

There are some of the tinier ones if you look closely.

After a while, my sister and I noticed that there was another part of the terrasse and we went to see what was on the other side. It turns out that they had sea lions as well and there was a baby one that kept climbing over a little stone and would waddle it's way towards the fence and then bark and snort before waddling back into the water. Every once in a while, the mom (I assume) would swim by and bark loudly.

Baby sea lion trying to climb onto the rock.

So cute!

Mama (?) sea lion.

On our last day at the resort, there were a few crabs scuttling around the resort because it was poured the night before. They're so colourful and cute! Red and orange and I honestly never knew crabs could scuttle so fast! I thought they were slow and clumsy but was I ever wrong. The only problem is there were a lot of near the pool and we had to keep bringing them back to the grass well away from the pool since it'd be really painful for someone to get pinched by them!

Hiding under a rock.

Some little stupid kids from Montreal (they spoke Quebecois French) were harassing the poor creatures and throwing stuff at them. This brave British girl confronted them several times and interfered with their cruelty but they just pretended not to understand her (although, how the hell can you not understand, "NO!" is beyond me.) What was worse is that their parents didn't seem to care and were just relieved that their brats weren't bothering them. The poor crabs were being pushed and tossed around and then eventually thrown into an air-tight Tupperware container like a rock collection.

My family and I were muttering and fuming under breathes but we didn't feel it was our place to tell off those brats in public while every one was on vacation. But there is some poetic justice because one of the brats finally got his finger clamped by one of the crabs. While my brother and sister were waiting for their food at the snack bar, the mother frantically asked the barman if he could help her get the crab off her son's finger while everyone at the counter just smiled. Unfortunately, the crab's claw was no longer attached to the crab though :(

Scuttling around before the kids came.

They also had trees that bear the pomelo fruit and we wanted to grab one and eat it. Unfortunately, it was too high and we couldn't reach. My dad held a photography contest to see who could take the best picture of the pomelos and my sister won. My mom cheated and took two pictures XD

Sister's winning photograph.

We also saw a toad one night in the middle of the path and we saved it from getting run over by one of the resort trucks. It took a lot of nudging to get it to move though. You'd think it'd move faster since it's life was in danger.

Before life saving moment.

And after.

On the day that we were supposed to leave, our flight was cancelled because of a storm passing by. We were allowed to stay an extra night at the resort free of charge but since the beach and the pool was closed, we didn't really do much except watch TV and sleep or read. We were told to stay in our rooms as of 2 PM and hopefully, the storm would have passed by 7 PM. There wasn't anything happening outside, no rain or high winds, just a gray day but apparently it was worse near the airport.

I had tons of fun in Cuba and I really liked the resort since the beach was so awesome! I'd really like to go there with Alex since we both love to snorkel and swim. Hopefully, we'll be able to go together next year!