¡ Viva Cuba !

Thursday 14th January 2010

We woke up early wondering if the phone was going to ring and give us another day in Paradisus. It didn't.

You would have expected us to be disappointed but we were actually ready for home. Of course we had such an amazing time here in Cuba but another day here at the beach was just wasted on us.

We got up and had breakfast at the Racquet Club.

It was like eating in menagerie this morning with about five blackbirds flitting around scrounging for scraps. We didn't mind, they were quite entertaining.

Despite our pick-up time not being until 1pm we didn't have much time.

After packing our suitcases and leaving a generous tip for Susana our towel bending maid we only had half an hour left, which we spent grabbing our last free meal at the racket club.

Our transfer to the airport was by luxury coach as we picked up all the Virgin Holiday guests along the Varadero strip. It made for slow progress, enough for them to schedule in a stop at a roadside cafe near Playa Jibacoa.

It took us over 3 hours to reached the Jose Marti International Airport.

We were here in plenty of time for our 7pm departure but there was already a very large queue snaking its way around the terminal building. It didn't help Julie's nerves that it took us over an hour to reach the check-in desks.

After paying to leave the country ($25 departure tax) we went airside. They tried to make the departures lounge look less like a large aircraft hanger by decorating it with all the flags of the world.

It was quite effective.

The minutes flew past as we spent most of our time trying to find specific countries like the UK or the USA, who were both represented. We also played Guess the Country which I made myself out to be amazing by bluffing my way through those I didn't know as I knew Julie wouldn't question me.

In its centre there was a small cafe where we spent our last CUC cents on a shared cheese baguette and a can of Cristal beer each.

Julie then went into "the zone" that place she goes to an hour before a flight where she goes really quiet and struggles against the urge to runaway.

She only emerged from that dark place eight hours later when we landed in Gatwick on a very cold Friday morning. Glad to be home, glad to be alive, glad all over.
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