Jour 20: Varadero

Day 20: Varadero

Yes! You read correctly! I arrived in Varadero after traveling 158.7 km today!!! A personal record! I can't believe I reached my goal in 20 days!!! The day started at 6:00 am, it was still dark. I went along the Bay of Pigs to Playa Larga. I was alone in the world for 30 km, because the road is in the middle of the forest. I arrive quite early in Playa Larga, I have lunch the best ham sandwich with egg of the trip. I decide to continue driving until Jagüey Grande. The city is cool, but I have to find some money because I only have $4.50 left. I find a bank, but there is no ATM. I decide to keep rolling, because I don't feel like waiting two hours to get money out. It's amazing how the mundane things of life in Canada can be very difficult to do in Cuba. As I ride again I'm stopped by death. Do not be afraid if I write it's line it is that I am still very much alive!!! I was only forced to stop a little while a funeral procession was going to carry the deceased to his final resting place in the cemetery. I drive, I drive, I look for a bank, but I don't see one. I see villages like this that remind me of dear Isabel, a teacher at Mont Notre-Dame in Sherbrooke. I see other signs on the road that give me hope to arrive soon. I roll, no bank! I have no money to find me a room. I decide to stop to eat Creole, a generous plate of rice, chicken, avocado, beans and potatoes. I'm in heaven for $2. I thank the two excellent cooks. It was the best food of the whole trip! I ride and I try to help a Cuban who had broken his bike chain, but without success. I arrive in Cardenas, it's a big city, I'll finally be able to withdraw money!!! Well no!!! Can't get money from the cursed machine!!! I'm looking for another bank, but the rain is showing up. I wait patiently in the shelter. After the rain, I find another counter!!! yahoo!!! But no!!! The counter is still out of money! Long live Cuba!!! Cardenas is a spectacular town. A salesman offers me a free piece of pork, yum!!! I continue my way to Varadero. And wow, rain again!!!! I stop at another cemetery and meet Felipe, a friendly security guard. He invites me to sit down and take shelter. I finally arrive in Varadero after an incredible day of 160km. I head to a two star hotel which I have visited twice before. I know it's not the big quality, but I ask about the price!!! What???? US$90 for one night!!! I can not believe what I'm hearing. Besides, the hotel is full. I find two functional ATMs, I finally become a consumer again!!! Finally some money!!! On leaving the hotel I explain to the doorman that the hotel is full. At the same time a lady tells me to come and visit her house because she has a room to rent! I conclude a deal for 4 nights for 100$ I will finally be able to rest before returning to the country very soon! In my article tomorrow, I will put photos and a video of this magnificent room located 300 meters from the beach. I'm tired! Is this normal? I go to bed very early, tomorrow I will go exploring... David Beauchesne